Tactical Aircraft Modernization: Issues for Congress [January 23, 2006]   [open pdf - 313KB]

"This Issue Brief examines DOD's [Department of Defense] four largest tactical aircraft modernization programs. The background section provides a brief description of each program, and a discussion of how tactical aircraft fit into military air operations: the missions they typically perform and how they contrast to longer-range combat aircraft. The Analysis section examines a number of policy issues including affordability, capability required, force structure, service roles and missions, industrial base, and transformation. The paper concludes with a synopsis of recent congressional action on these programs. […] Congress has questioned these tactical aircraft modernization plans on grounds of affordability and requirements. Because of the lack of consensus about future threats and defense requirements, there has been increasing skepticism about the need for some of these aircraft programs on grounds of cost and affordability, military requirements and force levels, and effects on the defense industrial base. Debate has also emerged on the need to balance modernization needs with military transformation goals."

Report Number:
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB92115
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