Part of the overall plan from the beginning. The EX is a fantastic platform and replacing not only the Albinoes but the Mudhens and provide the AF with a young, vibrant fleet of missile toters and bomb haulers that have range, speed, carrying capability and fuel to burn. They are a brand new pickup truck that can haul what you want, where you want and how you want. The F-22 and F-35 to a degree will kick open the door but the heavy hauling pounding of the enemy will be by the EX.
Glad to see the NGAD and F-16/F-16 Replacement gets discussed.
F-22: Still Semi-King (Did the F-15C ever really step down???) but the NGAD is coming and that's where the focus needs to be. This will be the heir apparent to the F-15C/F-22 fleet. We can not miss the mark. This is the backbone, the future and the next large fighter. Get it right, get it in budget and get it to the fleet.
F-35: Operated in good numbers and using its strength of stealth and tech to allow the heavy punchers to do their job. It's tech is great but it can not be called on to be an F-15E, A-10, F-15C or F-22. It is a high tech F-16, no more, no less.
F-15C: Replaced by the F-15EX. Adios my old friend but time marches on and the EX gives me everything you do...plus more. 101-0 lives on.
F-15E: Love the Hen to death. An updated version in the EX increases caps, decreases costs/age and provides a more open cockpit architecture for future tech. Throw the younger Hens at some ANG squadrons still pushing Block 30 F-16s. We have an ultimate bomb truck, missile carrier here. Let's get production going.
F-16: Continues as the Jack of All Trades until the next low cost, light fighter can come around OR somehow Block 80s starting rolling off the line. Something in me wants to see what Northrop Grumman can come up with.
A-10: Well, at least they didn't attempt to retire the Hawg tomorrow which is the standard play. I guess Syria in the late teens finally opened some eyes to what the Hawg brings to the battlefield. Operating for another decade plus is a good thing. When another shooting war rears it's ugly head, the retirement date will be pushed back, again.....because when you absolutely, positively, with out a doubt need to smoke men and machines near your own brothers, it does that JOB better than anything else.