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Due to ‘Financial Constraints’, Pentagon Forced to Reduce Purchases of New Combat Aircraft

Most notably affected are the efforts of the United States Air Force and Navy to purchase more fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the F-35 and F-15EX, which are now being canceled, thereby disrupting the planned enhancements in capabilities by both branches of the country's military.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Due to constraints in its Defense Budget for the upcoming year, the United States Department of Defense (Pentagon) is forced to reduce its proposed purchases of several fighter aircraft types, notably the F-35 developed by Lockheed Martin and the F-15EX by Boeing.

Budgetary constraints in the Defense Budget are not only affecting countries like Malaysia but are also impacting nations like the United States, which has a defense budget of US$886 billion (RM3.9 Trillion) for this year and US$895 billion (RM4 Trillion) for 2025.

The United States Air Force is also compelled to reduce purchases of T-7A training aircraft due to “financial constraints.”

According to reports from the country’s defense media, the United States Department of Defense had planned to acquire a total of 107 fighter aircraft in the fiscal year 2025. However, due to constraints in the Defense Budget, it will only be able to purchase 86 fighter aircraft.

Most notably affected are the efforts of the United States Air Force and Navy to acquire more F-35 and F-15EX fighter aircraft, which are now being cancelled, disrupting plans to enhance capabilities by both branches of the US military.

F-35
F-35

 

Due to Defense Budget constraints, the United States Air Force will now only have 98 of the latest F-15EX variants, compared to the requested 144.

The Pentagon has had to instruct the United States Air Force and Navy to scale back efforts to introduce “new capabilities” and also to replace aging aircraft.

For example, the United States Air Force is forced to retire a number of its top air dominance fighter aircraft, the F-22 “Raptor,” instead of spending on upgrades and modernization, which would incur significant costs.

Savings from the modernization efforts of the F-22 will be redirected towards purchasing other aircraft.

Due to spending limits aimed at curbing debt introduced through the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the United States government has been compelled to limit its Defense Budget, thereby forcing the cancellation or postponement of several defense programs of the world’s major power military.

F-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor.

 

Recently, the United States Air Force (USAF) announced its intention to retire 250 of its combat aircraft next year, including its primary fighter aircraft such as the F-22 “Raptor,” F-15, and F-16.

The retirement of 250 combat aircraft in 2025 will reduce the total number of aircraft in the United States Air Force to around 4,900, compared to over 5,000 aircraft currently.

This will be the first time the total number of combat aircraft in the United States Air Force falls below 5,000.

“The retirement of 250 combat aircraft from the United States Air Force will result in savings of approximately US$2 billion (RM9 billion),” said United States Air Force Major General Mike A. Greiner.

A-10
A-10 will be retired beginning next year and completely phased out in 2029.

 

Among the United States Air Force fighter aircraft slated for retirement in 2025 are 22 F-22 “Raptor” fighters, 65 F-15 C/Ds, 56 A-10 “Warthogs,” 26 F-15Es, 11 F-16 C/Ds, and 16 KC-135 tanker aircraft.

The savings from these retirements will be directed towards further modernization efforts of the United States Air Force, particularly involving more advanced combat aircraft for its use.

Among the planned acquisitions by the United States Air Force are 42 F-35 fighter aircraft and 18 F-15EX fighter aircraft variants. – DSA

 

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