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USAF to Retire 250 Fighter Aircraft, Including 5th Generation F-22 “Raptor”

Among the fighter aircraft to be decommissioned 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.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The United States Air Force intends to retire a total of 250 aircraft next year, including its fighter jets such as the F-22 “Raptor”, F-15, and F-16.

The retirement of these 250 combat aircraft in 2025 will reduce the overall number of aircraft in the United States Air Force to approximately 4,900, compared to the current fleet of more than 5,000 aircraft.

According to senior United States Air Force official Major General Mike A. Greiner, the retirement of these 250 combat aircraft will result in savings of approximately US$2 billion (RM9 billion).

Among the fighter aircraft to be decommissioned 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 this retirement will be directed towards modernizing the United States Air Force, particularly by acquiring more advanced combat aircraft. Planned acquisitions include 42 F-35 fighter jets and 18 F-15EX fighter variants.

F-15
Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15

 

However, these acquisitions fall short of the criteria set by the top management of the United States Air Force, which aimed to acquire 72 new combat aircraft by 2025. The actual number of acquisitions for 2025 is only 60.

Plans to retire certain fighter aircraft by the United States Air Force have faced opposition from members of Congress, particularly regarding the F-22 “Raptor”. Instead, involved members of Congress advocate for investing in and upgrading the existing F-22 “Raptor” aircraft.

They propose upgrading the F-22 “Raptor” aircraft from Block 20 to Block 30/35 variants to ensure their continued serviceability. The United States Air Force aims to reduce the number of F-22 “Raptor” aircraft in its inventory from 185 to 153.

The United States Air Force is developing the New Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) aircraft to replace the F-22 “Raptor”.

Production of this “most advanced” fifth-generation aircraft was terminated in 2011 by its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.

A-10
An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 75th Fighter Squadron USAF.

 

Approximately US$64 billion (RM256 billion) has been spent by American taxpayers to develop the fifth-generation F-22 “Raptor” fighter jet, which was touted as the country’s most advanced fighter when it began operations in the mid-1990s.

After spending a sum of RM256 billion, equivalent to more than half of Malaysia’s annual budget, to develop aircraft designed to dominate air battles, Washington ultimately only built 187 F-22 Raptors, a significantly small number considering the massive expenditure incurred. — DSA

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