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USA’s Air Force transforming away from ”unnecessary” aircraft towards more nuclear weapons

More Nuclear, Less Ground Attack in Biden’s Air Force Budget Request

The 2023 spending proposal calls for retiring 150 planes, shifting funds, and reconfiguring for possible war with China or Russia. Defense One MARCUS WEISGERBER and TARA COPP | MARCH 28, 2022 

U.S. Air Force leaders want to shed hundreds of “unnecessary” aircraft and drones and spend more on nuclear and high-tech weapons they say are better suited for a war with China or Russia.

They lay out their proposal in the service’s $169 billion 2023 spending request, which is $13.2 billion higher than last year’s request. 

The weapons they prioritize—nuclear and long-range strike—reflect an unsteady year in which China launched a hypersonic missile around the globe and Russia put its own nuclear forces on heightened alert while invading Ukraine. 

The Air Force’s budget request is “more about transformation now than it is about evolutionary change. What drives that is the threat. We need to move aggressively,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told reporters before the budget rollout. 

To do so, the service is asking for approval to retire 150 aircraft, including eight E-8 JSTARS radar planes, 21 A-10 attack planes, 33 F-22 training jets, 15 E-3 Sentry AWACS-carrying radar planes, 13 KC-135 aerial refueling tankers, 10 C-130H cargo aircraft and 50 T-1 trainers. The Air Force will also reduce its total uniformed personnel number by 4,900 airmen as a result of the cuts, Kendall said. …………………….. In research-and-development, the service is requesting an additional $2.5 billion for the air and land legs of the nuclear triad; a little more than $1 billion of that increase is for ground based strategic deterrent Minuteman III replacement missiles. It also seeks $929 million for the long range standoff weapon, up from $609 billion last year, and $577 million for hypersonic prototyping of the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon and hypersonic attack cruise missile.   

The Air Force is also asking for an additional $1.7 billion for initial production of an unknown number of the next generation B-21 stealth bomber…………………….


March 29, 2022 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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