Legacy U.S. Air Force Fighters, Bombers Are on the Chopping Block

The U.S. Department of Defense plans to propose retiring hundreds of the Air Force’s aging fighter jets and bomber aircraft over the next five years to shift resources toward building new capabilities to counter China and Russia, sources tell Foreign Policy.

On the chopping block are a significant chunk of the older F-15s and F-16s, 17 of roughly 60 nonnuclear B-1 bombers, along with 21 of the service’s unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawk drones. The proposed cuts over what is called the “five-year defense plan” will be included in the White House’s annual budget submission for fiscal year 2021, which is set to be released on Feb. 10. Congress must approve the plan before it goes into effect.

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