The U.S. Air Force will retire more than 250 aircraft and fighter jets in the next several months, according to a report on Tuesday.
As part of the Combat Air Force Reduction in Forces plan, Hill Air Force Base will send out 12 aircrafts in the next two months and another 12 this fall — making their inventory smaller, but hopefully more lethal.
“As an Air Force, we are going to accelerate the retirement of 259 aircraft,” said Col. David Hathaway with the 388th Fighter Wing unit.
The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the first of the US Air Force multi-role fighter aircraft, is the world’s most prolific fighter with more than 2,000 in service with the USAF. The last of 2,231 F-16 fighters for the US Air Force was delivered in March 2005. The first two-seat F-16D version was accepted by the US Government in January 2009.
More than 1,500 F-15s are in service worldwide with the US Air Force, US Air National Guard and the air forces of Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia, including over 220 F-15E fighters.
Hathaway added by saying “It frees up $355 million this fiscal year and over the next five fiscal years will free up $3.5 billion, which will allow us to reshape our force into a smaller, leaner, more agile and capable force for the future.”
And though the retiring of these jets will mean the Air Force will have a smaller inventory right now, Hathaway says, “In the long term this makes us more lethal and combat capable, yet smaller force.”