Rejected by Congress in fiscal 2023, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the service’s second go at retiring older F-22s stands a much better chance of surviving the upcoming round of budget negotiations.

Posted BY: | NwoReport

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are becoming more receptive to the Air Force’s bid to retire aging weapon systems, the service’s top civilian said today, creating a “much better chance” that a request to retire older F-22 fighter jets goes forward after it was previously blocked by Congress

“I’ve had good cooperation from our committees,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said during the Ash Carter Exchange hosted by the Special Competitive Studies Project. “And one of the things that’s been a sticking point in the past that we’re getting good cooperation on now is divestitures.”

Pointing to previous “resistance” to the idea of mothballing older platforms, Kendall noted that Congress finally budged on letting some A-10s go in fiscal 2023 alongside retirements of the E-3 eye in the sky, and though the service was not successful in getting lawmakers to sign off on a similar retirement for F-22s, momentum is building to permit the move. 

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“We were unsuccessful with old F-22s that are not fully combat capable last year. I think there’s a much better chance that’ll go through this year, so I want to express some appreciation to the Congress,” he said.

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