Back to the Drawing Board

Gen. Ronald Keys, ACC commander, says Air Force leaders will have to “rebalance our portfolio” of fighter and attack aircraft now that the ultimate F-22A buy seems locked in at 183 airplanes. The obvious move is to keep in service some aircraft that were to be retired. USAF could use service life extensions, re-enginings, upgrades, or some combination of the three, suggests Keys. It’s an issue ACC is already “struggling with,” but one, he believes doesn’t have to be solved overnight. “We’re not in extremis. …We have time,” maintains Keys, adding that USAF can carefully consider what has to be done and get the plan right, probably for the 2008 POM.