USAF withdraws F-22 Raptor from future plans

Air Force plans to operate only four fighter planes, including the F-15EX, F-16 and the undisclosed NGAD

The US Air Force plans to operate only four air combat platforms in the future instead of the current seven, Chief of Staff General Charles Brown told Jane’s.

However, the F-22 Raptor, the most expensive fighter ever produced in series, is not among them. According to the Chief of Staff, the USAF will have the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the new F-15EX Eagle II, the F-35 Lightning II and also the undisclosed NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance) jet, whose prototype flew a few months ago.

Brown also said that the close air support A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft will remain in service for some time after undergoing a re-winging program.

Developed in the 1980s as the most advanced stealth fighter in the world, the F-22 had a very high cost and only 187 aircraft delivered to the Air Force between 1996 and 2011, but its availability was never as expected.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II will be in service for some time (USAF)

USAF develops a new aerial platform to replace it, whose main feature is a digital update and manufacturing process. The aircraft originating from the NGAD program will be able to be upgraded quickly and produced in a short time.

85 more F-35 fighters in the 2022 Budget

In that regard, the Biden administration maintained its investment in more F-35A Lightning II fighters for the Air Force. The 2022 budget proposed by former President Donald Trump includes the purchase of 85 new fighters at a cost of $11 billion.

Recently, Lockheed Martin’s fighter has become the second most numerous in the Air Force inventory, only behind the F-16.

Biden administration will purchase 85 more F-35 in the 2022 budget (USAF)

With 283 units, the F-35 surpassed the A-10 (281 airplanes) and the F-15 if considered the separate F-15C/D (234 jets) and F-15E (218) variants.

The USAF plans to buy 1,763 aircraft and General Brown believes that in the future the F-35 could replace even the F-16, possibly by the end of the decade.

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