skip to main content

Pentagon Budget 2024: US Air Force requests divestment of 310 aircraft

The USAF has requested to divest a total of 310 aircraft and helicopters during fiscal year (FY) 2024, including the last remaining Boeing KC-10 tankers and the first block of F-22s.

The USAF aims to retire all 24 KC-10s, ending the type's run as the USAF's largest air-to-air tanker. The aircraft will be replaced by the Boeing KC-46. Though smaller and capable of passing less fuel to receivers, the KC-46 is meant to serve as a bridge tanker until the planned introduction of the Next-Generation Air-refueling System (NGAS) in the 2030s.

The service also aims to retire two Boeing E-3s, the fleet of which has dwindled from 32 to 18 in recent years. The early-warning aircraft is due to be replaced by the Boeing E-7.

The final three E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) are also to be retired.

The service intends to retire 57 Boeing F-15C/Ds, reducing the fleet to 92 of the fighters. The USAF hopes to replace the type with newer F-15EXs. The service also hopes to retire 32 early-model F-22s that have been removed from combat service.

The air force requested to divest of 42 Fairchild-Republic A-10s. The close-air-support aircraft has been on the chopping block for years, but its retirement has been prevented by Congress, which each year inserted money to keep the platform in service.

In addition, the USAF proposed the retirement of 37 HH-60Gs, currently the backbone of the USAF's combat search and rescue (CSAR) fleet, reducing the operational total to 23. The helicopter is being partially replaced by the newer HH-60W, but the USAF's purchase of helicopters has been truncated as the service looks to longer-range platforms.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...