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Looking Ahead: The US Air Force’s Planned Shopping List For 2025

Summary Air Force planning to procure a mix of 4.5 and 5th gen fighter jets, trainers, tankers, helicopters.
Procurements for 2025 include F-35A Lightning II, F-15EX Eagle II fighters, T-7A Redhawk trainer, and more to enhance airpower projection.
Divestments in 2025 include F-15s and Block 20 F-22 Raptors; projected Air Force shrinkage with only 121 aircraft to be acquired.
The DoD has published its requested budget and has detailed what aircraft the Air Force is hoping to purchase in Fiscal Year 2025. The Air Force is planning to procure a mix of 4.5 gen and 5th gen fighter jets, trainers, tanker aircraft, helicopters, and a transport aircraft. Despite the plans to procure 121 aircraft, the US Air Force is expected to shrink in 2025.
The 2025 fighter procurement
The powerful fifth-generation F-35 is now officially in full production. Around 150 F-35s (all variants) are being produced annually with around 100 going to the Marines, Navy, and export. The Air Force is planning to procure 42 of the F-35A variant (the land-based variant).
Photo: VBlueBarronPhoto | Shutterstock
The Air Force is planning to purchase 18 F-15EX Eagle II fighters. The massively successful F-15 family of jets is the only 4th generation fighter still purchased by the US Air Force (F-16 Block 70/72s are still produced but for export). The Boeing F-15EX Eagle II has evolved into an all-weather multirole strike fighter. It has been purchased to replace older F-15C/Ds, and make up for delays in the F-35s and low numbers of the F-22s. They have the advantage of being large and non-stealthy meaning they can carry a large number of stand-off weapons.
Planned US Air Force Procurements 2025 Role: Number: F-15EX Eagle II 4.5 gen multirole strike fighter 18 F-35A Lightning II 5th gen multirole stealth fighter 42 T-7A Redhawk Supersonic advanced jet trainer 7 C-40C Clipper 1 MH-139 Grey Wolf Multi-mission helicopter 8 KC-46A Pegasus Strategic tanker 15
Photo: Peter R Foster IDMA | Shutterstock
Related Which Aircraft Carriers Are Certified To Operate The Navy’s F-35C Fighters? Perhaps four carriers have been modified to operate F-35C leaving seven more to be modified or to be retired without modifications.
Other 2025 proposed procurements
The Boeing KC-46 is the replacement refueling tanker built to replace the aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers. The first was delivered in 2019 and the Air Force plans to procure 179 tankers by 2027. Most air forces focus on defending their airspace, but the US Air Force projects power around the world. Aerial refueling tankers are a core part of its ability to project power.
The T-7 Red Hawk is perhaps the only aircraft on the shopping list not to be of purely American origin and is an American/Swedish supersonic advanced jet trainer. The MH-139 is the only helicopter on the list with Boeing stating it

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