There is fresh concern that the Air Force plans to abandon development of the E-10 multi-mission aircraft that would potentially have replaced three older intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance assets. Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute said this summer that even the single test aircraft would disappear from the 2008 budget, and he repeated that belief at AFA’s Air & Space Conference last week. Now, Reuters news service not only quotes Thompson but an unnamed “senior defense official” who said the E-10 falls into the category of “things that we would like” but don’t have the money for. Hmmmm.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.