USA: Pentagon reducing F-35 buy in 2020 budget request

The US Department of Defense is planning to cut the number of Lockheed Martin F-35s in its next budget request from 84 to 78, six fewer than previously planned. The Pentagon was originally planning to request funding for 84 F-35s in FY20, comprising 48 F-35As, 20 F-35Bs, and 16 F-35Cs. It was not specified which services would be impacted by the loss of six aircraft in the upcoming budget request.

USA Pentagon reducing F 35 buy in 2020 budget request  From the top: 33rd FW F-35A, F-35B and F-35C (Picture source: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katerina Slivinske)

The cutback in F-35 requests come as the Pentagon is reportedly looking to buy eight upgraded Boeing F-15X jets. The F-15X won't have the stealth capabilities of the F-35 but could carry more ordnance and heavier payloads like hypersonic weapons.

Some lawmakers are skeptical about the fourth-generation jets' capabilities. Five senators wrote a letter to President Trump last month warning against investing in the Boeing F-15X jets.


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