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Despite training range flaws, Red Flag-Alaska challenged pilots, Air Force says

Despite ongoing issues with antiquated electronic warfare systems at the 67,000-square-mile Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, Red Flag-Alaska 19-2 was able to challenge the pilots who took part, according to the Air Force. But that may have been because U.S. Air Force fifth-generation aircraft, F-22s and F-35s, were noticeably absent from the proceedings.

The two-week multinational training exercise is meant to provide realistic combat experience to pilots in a controlled environment, which increases their survivability on actual combat missions, Senior Airman Eric Fisher, with the 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office at Eielson Air Force Base, said in an email.

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Anticipated upgrades to old F-15s could cost nearly as much as buying new ones

Debate continues to rage among pundits and internet warriors alike about the value (or lack thereof) in the Air Force ordering 80 brand new F-15X air frames in the coming years. Some contend that the billions of dollars being spent on these new ?old? aircraft would be better invested by expanding orders of the more technologically advanced F-35. Those in the F-15X camp point out that F-15s are expected to remain a part of the Air Force?s military strategy for years to come, and claim that, despite lacking in stealth and data fusion technology, the F-15 still has some tricks up its sleeve that the F-35 lacks.

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