The US Air Force is taking a bold new step towards modernizing its fighter fleet by officially requesting Congress to fund the purchase of 72 fighter jets –its highest desired goal yet. 

The request comes as the service seeks to replace aging planes like its F-15C, and general planning for future needs indicates this won’t be an isolated incident in years to come.

After years of falling short of its desired annual procurement rate for fighter aircraft, the US Air Force said that requesting Congress to provide enough funding in their subsequent budget request for at least 72 fighter aircraft yearly is necessary for the replacement and modernization of its aging planes, especially with the upgrades needed to ensure success against the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

Should this goal be met, the upgrade would be for the Air Force’s existing technologies and replacing retired models with newer ones more capable of meeting modern standards.