The US Air Force has a limited number of fifth-generation, stealth F-22 interceptor fighters with a smaller percentage being combat-ready. Despite being developed in the early 1990s, the F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter is the most advanced aerial combat aircraft in the world. So, why would the Air Force include in the FY2023 President's Budget a request to retire F-22s, the US's most capable fighter? It's a good question. Congress is wondering the same thing. Nonetheless, 33 Raptors are on the retirement chopping block, and Congress is pushing back on the idea in the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA).
When reading about combat aircraft retirements, the impression is the weapon systems have been around for decades and are ready for the boneyard. However, the F-22 has been operationally capable for about 15 years. The first Raptor fighter wing to be declared "Full Op...
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