After the A-10, the US Air Force wants to withdraw its F-15Cs from service by 2030

The preparation of the annual budget of the American armed forces is a very rich period of lessons, allowing in particular the 3 forces of the country, the executive on the one hand, the Congress on the other hand, but also the armed forces themselves, to publicly express their vision and expectations for the coming year and beyond, in terms of investments but also of format and strategy. While, during the 90s, 2000s and 2010s, everyone's considerations were above all technological or economic, since the beginning of the decade they have taken on a new, very applied character, while tensions with Russia, China and also Iran or North Korea, continue to grow, and that a united front of authoritarian nations bringing them together could well emerge soon. In fact, where for several decades the military, senators, representatives and members of the American government have fought arm wrestling to determine in which company or in which state to invest the colossal credits of the Pentagon, the subjects today are much more concrete. , operational and even directive.

After 30 years of programmatic wandering and hundreds of billions of dollars evaporated in aborted or failed programs, every dollar counts today within the Pentagon, in particular to support the Chinese challenge. This is how the 4 Armies undertook profound reorganizations with a view to modernizing their units at a forced march, giving rise to new programs developed on extraordinarily short timetables (for the Pentagon) such as the Mobile Protected Firepower or MFP light tank whose production was launched after only 5 years of completion and testing, a record for the US Army which, in recent years, had tended to twist its programs. Likewise, the NGAD programs of the US Air Force and the US Navy, which will produce on the one hand an air superiority fighter which will replace the F-22 at the beginning of the next decade, on the other hand a multi -role to replace the Super Hornet on board US Navy aircraft carriers on the same schedule, are both carried out with beating drums, with an agenda and a budget scrupulously monitored in particular by Congress. The fact is, if it only took China 30 years, between 1990 and 2020, its armies and its defense industry, to catch up with the 30 years of technological and industrial lag they had at the end of the 80s, the American armies and industrialists, for their part, will have to absorb by 2030, 30 years of programmatic indigence, which is what they are now working on.

F35A USAF Defense Analysis | Training and attack aircraft | Fighter jets
The F-35A will gradually become the mainstay of American fighters by 2030, when more than a thousand of these aircraft will be in service with the United States Air Force.

For the US Air Force, the target strategy was defined two years ago by General Brown, shortly after he took the reins of the most powerful air force on the planet. This was based on the modernization of support aircraft, with the acquisition of new KC-46A tankers as part of the KCx program and new standby aircraft to replace the Sentry, the rolling modernization of the transport fleet and the production major efforts to develop new equipment such as combat drones and hypersonic weapons. The Strategic Air Force would be strengthened by the arrival of a confidential number of new B-21 Raider stealth bombers. But the key subject for the years to come is none other than the modernization of the American fighter fleet. Thus, its backbone, at the end of the decade, will indeed be made up of nearly a thousand F-35As which will gradually replace the A-10s, as well as some of the F-16s and F-15Es. , while the most modern devices would be modernized. The new F-15EX Super Eagle, which was initially to be ordered at 240 copies, will only be ordered at 80 units, mainly to replace the withdrawal of the F-15C. And finally, the NGAD program, which if it aimed to replace the F-22 by the end of the decade, will obviously be supported by the latter for a time, which will most certainly play extra time. However, the exact schedule for the retirement of legacy devices, or Legacy devices as designated by the USAF, was not clearly defined until now. It is now done.

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