(PresidentialHill.com)- As part of its move to fund research to develop more advanced combat jet designs, the Pentagon may consider retiring 33 of the US Air Force’s oldest F-22 fighter jets in the fiscal year 2023, reducing the total F-22 fleet from 186 to 153 jets.
The $773 billion defense budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes having the Air Force scrap over 150 aircraft including thirty-three F-22s and twenty-one A-10s. The US Navy may also retire 24 vessels as part of the upcoming fiscal year budget.
DoD officials want to use the funds they would save to research new fighter jet designs under the US Air Force’s Next-General Air Dominance (NGAD) program. The secretive NGAD program could potentially include a 6th-generation fighter jet and unmanned drones.
The Air Force’s deputy assistant budget secretary, Maj. Gen. James Peccia, said last week that it would be a better use of the Air Force’s money to upgrade newer F-22s with more advanced sensors and improve the F-35A Lightning II.
In mid-March, Bloomberg reported that in its FY2023 budget, the Pentagon would request thirty-three fewer F-35 stealth warplanes from Lockheed Martin. However, Lockheed Martin responded in a statement that it was “premature” to speculate on the upcoming fiscal year’s budget.
The F-35 is one of the world’s most advanced fighter jets and is considered a highly sensitive export, sold only to the United States’ closest allies. In the last year, Lockheed Martin has delivered a total of one hundred and forty-two F-35 fighter jets to the United States and its allies, three more than originally planned.
On Monday, March 28, the White House and the Pentagon submitted to Congress the FY2023 Defense budget.
The budget proposes a total of $813.3 billion in national defense spending, $773 billion of which would go to the Department of Defense. It includes a 4.6 percent pay increase for military and civilian personnel as well as a $15 minimum wage for the federal workforce.