Air Force Will Need 50 Years to Replace its Aircraft, Says AFA President

Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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Air Force Association President Michael Dunn has presented some frightening statistics. According to his calculations:

First, the AF is procuring 750 aircraft over the six year period of the FYDP. That equates to 125 aircraft per year. At that rate it will take about 46 years to replace every aircraft in the inventory. This means that – unless something changes – the average age of our aircraft will rise to 46 years.

Secondly, about 270 of the aircraft are UAVs … and arguably are not replacing other aircraft in the inventory. That leaves about 80 aircraft per year – which equates to a replacement rate of 72 years.

Thirdly, you say not all aircraft need to be replaced. OK – let’s assume the Air Force is only going to replace about two-thirds of its aircraft. That means it will take 50 years to replace them all.

Finally, the reason the number is so high for 2008 is the war time supplemental bill. DOD has indicated that it no longer wants to submit a supplemental funding bill … which would, if put in place this year, have resulted in only 93 aircraft being procured – 52 of which were UAVs. This results in a replacement rate of 141 years.

Read the facts and figures on USAF aircraft procurement plans in a PDF file by clicking here: http://www.afa.org/EdOp/Aircraft_Procurement.pdf .

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