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Highlights

GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) planned replacement of F-15 aircraft with F-22 tactical fighters. GAO noted that: (1) the threat of air warfare has declined since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact; (2) Russia is unlikely to deploy any new tactical aircraft in the foreseeable future and no other country is currently developing any aircraft that is superior to the F-15; (3) the unmodified F-15C is superior in four out of five major performance categories against the most likely advanced fighter threat; (4) the U.S. air superiority capability is enhanced by the most advanced command and control system in the world and superior pilot training; (5) the Air Force can extend F-15 service life until 2015; (6) the Air Force did not design the F-22 to accommodate multiple missions or joint use among the services; (7) DOD has scheduled a test in 2001 to compare the aircrafts' technical capabilities; and (8) DOD should delay production of the F-22 for 7 years due to the lessened threat from foreign aircraft and the longevity and capability of F-15 aircraft.

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