Fighter Dump

The Air Force “will deliver” a spate of reports to Congress by Thursday’s April 1 deadline detailing what it will do to keep its fighter force relevant while the F-35 matures, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said Tuesday. USAF already has turned over a report on the reduction of 250 fighters, he told attendees of his Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Series presentation in Arlington, Va. Schwartz said it looks like USAF will go the route of extending the service lives of existing F-15s and F-16s, which will cost about “10 to 15 percent” of buying all-new generation 4.5 fighters. He asserted that it’s not wise “to dissipate” the service’s limited F-35 funds on new Gen 4.5 fighters since they would soon become irrelevant in the face of increasingly sophisticated threats. Such funds are “too precious” to spend on anything but fifth generation fighters, he said.