After more than a decade and billions spent developing the consistently troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force is eyeing a new variant of the F-15 — much to lawmakers' dismay.

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Brace yourselves: the Department of Defense is eyeing a brand new variant of the storied F-15 Eagle to rule the skies, the U.S. military's first purchase of the storied aircraft in more than 15 years.

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The U.S. Air Force has no interest in purchasing either Boeing’s advanced fourth-generation F-15X version of the aging Eagle. Nor does the service have any plans to revive the stealthy fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in either its original configuration or in a modified form with avionics from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Instead, the priority for the Air Force is to produce as many F-35s as it can to increase the proportion of fifth-generation fighters in its fleet while it continues to explore next-generation technologies for the future air superiority mission.

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The aviation world is abuzz with rumors that the U.S. Air Force is evaluating the purchase of a brand-new F-15X model of the legendary 45-year-old F-15 Eagle twin-engine fighter. Marcus Weisgerber first reported this possibility for Defense One, then expanded upon in an article by Tyler Rogoway at The Drive.

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