US Air Force Chief Confirms Interest in Improved F-15X


General David Goldfein, US Air Force Chief of Staff, has confirmed the service branch is exploring new F-15 purchases, Defense News reported Monday.

Notably, Goldfein said money for the F-15 program would not drain funds from the budget to buy more F-35s. This point echoed comments made by Lockheed Martin chief executive officer Marillyn Hewson during an earnings call last Thursday, where she said,”If they choose to have an order of the F-15, it won’t be at the expense of F-35 quantities. I’m hearing that directly from leadership in the Pentagon…It’s not just our suspicion, but I’ve been told that directly.”

Adding more the upgraded F-15X, which features advanced avionics and a greater weapons payload, is likely to raise eyebrows in Washington. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan was a defense contractor nearly his entire adult life for Boeing before joining the Trump administration. Shanahan worked on Boeing’s rotorcraft programs, which brought the Pentagon the Apache and Chinook helicopters, and helped develop the V-22 Osprey during three decades with the company.

On January 2, Shanahan recused himself from all Pentagon dealings involving Boeing. A report by Bloomberg in December stated that the Defense Department’s idea is to procure 12 F-15X aircraft for $1.2 billion. US President Donald Trump has said there are many people interested in becoming the next permanent secretary, though it may be too early to count…

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