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US Air Force to mothball dozens of A 10s, F 15s and F 16s

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force wants to send more than 200 aircraft to the boneyard with its fiscal 2022 budget request, freeing up $1.3 billion in savings that it can reinvest in cutting-edge technologies like its sixth-generation fighter and hypersonic weapons.

The Department of the Air Force, which released its budget request on May 28, requested a total of $173.7 billion — $156.3 billion for the Air Force and $17.4 billion for the Space Force.

Although research, development, test and evaluation costs for the Air Force increased from $26.6 billion to $28.8 billion, procurement fell from $26.1 billion to $22.9 billion.

The request could be a bitter pill to swallow for Congress. It asks lawmakers to approve the retirement of dozens of aircraft — including the beloved A-10 Warthog, F-15C/D and F-16C/D fighters, KC-135 and KC-10 refueling tankers, C-130 cargo planes, and RQ-4 surveillance drones — while, in many cases, funding fewer new aircraft than anticipated in the Air Force’s FY21 plans.

Despite the major changes, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown has said that FY23 would host the biggest overhauls to the service.

 

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