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The Fighter Force Will Get Younger, Slowly

February 23, 2006—In its annual look at defense spending, the Congressional Budget Office notes the positive effect new F-22A and F-35 fighters will have on the average age of USAF’s fighter and attack aircraft inventory. Still, the fighter/attack strike aircraft in 2024 will be on average 15 years old. The bottom portion of this graph shows the projected inventory through 2024. The Air Force now plans to keep its legacy fighters—F-15s and F-16s—longer to offset the reduced number of F-22As and a delay in production of F-35s.

Source: Congressional Budget Office, “The Long Term Implications of Current Defense Plans and Alternatives: Detailed Updtate for Fiscal Year 2006.