US military plans to scrap dozens of F-22 fighter jets

F-22 Raptor. [Photo: Wikimedia]

The US military is planning on retiring 33 F-22 Raptors in a bid to free up funds for research into new fighter-jet designs, as the air force points to costly upgrades that would be needed to continue using the planes in combat, RT reported.

The Pentagon wants to send the nearly three-dozen fighters to the ‘boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan air base in Tucson, Arizona, hoping to use the funds it would save for R&D under the ‘Next-Generation Air Dominance’ program, Defense News reported on Monday. If backed by Congress, the move would downsize the US’ total F-22 fleet from 186 to 153 jets.

Plans to move the craft to Virginia from Eglin AFB in Florida have been on pause for more than three years, and the air force has stated that the older F-22s currently used for training would simply be too expensive to keep in fighting shape, according to the branch’s deputy assistant budget secretary Major General James Peccia. Those upgrades would cost nearly $2 billion over the next eight years, funds the air force would rather put into newer planes.

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