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Fewer F-35s? Air Force Looks to Buy 80 F-15Xs Instead
Nevertheless as Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group of Fairfax, Virginia, said in an email to Bloomberg “The U.S. Air Force fighter budget is unlikely to grow by much, so the fear is that replacing the F-15 fleet, rather than upgrading the old F-15s, would take cash away from F-35 procurement.”
As we have reported, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) is reportedly requesting an upgraded version of the Boeing F-15 Eagle fighter jet in its 2020 budget, despite pushback from lawmakers and earlier skepticism from top USAF officials.
The first batch of eight F-15X Advanced Eagle aircraft (fewer than the expected 12 fighters) could be proposed in the fiscal 2020 budget that will be unveiled next month.
However the USAF is planning to acquire as many as 80 F-15Xs over a period of five years.
According to Bloomberg, the Air Force will propose buying the F-15X without reducing the fleet of 1,763 F-35s that it has long planned, the people said. The service would purchase 48 of the 84 F-35s that were called for last year in the Pentagon’s plan for 2020, with the remainder going to the Navy and Marines, according to program documents.