Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of the Air Combat Command, said at an Air Force Association event in Florida that the service would reduce costs by acquiring fourth-generation aircraft like Boeing’s F-15X, National Defense reported Friday.
Holmes noted that purchasing a mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft would help the Air Force cut costs and reach its goal of procuring 72 new fighter jets annually. He added that the Air Force still needs to acquire fifth-generation aircraft to stay ahead of adversaries.
According to Holmes, the service can benefit from the F-15X which needs “very little aircrew changes" and less maintenance. The Air Force is seeking to accelerate the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation F-35 joint strike fighters.
Air Force officials including USAF Secretary Heather Wilson noted that the service's original 2020 budget proposal “did not include fourth-generation aircraft.”