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Mitchell Weighs In: More F-35s or New, Old F-15s?

The Air Force needs to buy more new fighter planes. The constricted size and increasing age of the Air Force?s fighter inventory is the product of long-standing deferred investment; the 2009 decision to prematurely curtail the F-22 buy at less than half its required inventory; failure to boost F-35 production to originally planned rates; and the fact that 234 of 1970?s era F-15Cs will be hitting the end of their service lives in the next decade. Maintaining the current fighter inventory size demands that the Air Force buy at least 72 fighters per year into the 2020s.

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