The service is looking forward, however, and wants to replace its three combat-loss fighters with F-35 Lightnings, not F-15s or F-16s. Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne explained in a briefing with reporters Thursday afternoon in Orlando that the service will get the new aircraft around 2010, and new purchases of Vipers or Eagles would come no faster. Further, the F-15s currently being built for Korea and the F-16s being produced for the United Arab Emirates are different—and more advanced—than those flown by USAF. No commonality is a no-no, as far as the Air Force is concerned. Meanwhile, said Moseley, spending the money on the F-35 stabilizes the production line and accelerates the test program, so buying them as war replacements “seems to make sense.”
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."