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Report: DoD’s F-15 Procurement Decision Seeks to Gain Diversity in Fighter Aircraft Industrial Base

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A senior defense official said the Department of Defense’s decision to procure a new variant of Boeing-built F-15 fighter aircraft hopes to demonstrate DoD’s desire to keep two U.S.-based jet manufacturers in business in the next 10 years, Defense One reported Friday.

“One of the considerations was the diversity of the industrial base,” the senior official said. “If we look at something as important as the tactical aircraft industrial base and we look forward into sixth-generation [fighter] production and competition and that kind of stuff, … gaining diversity in that industrial base is going to be critical,” the official added.

The report noted that the fiscal 2020 budget includes $1.1 billion in funds for the acquisition of eight F-15X jets and the official said Acting Defense Secretary and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Patrick Shanahan was not involved in the decision to procure the new aircraft.