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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Air Force officals are drafting plans to retire as many as half of the 12-hunred F-16 Fighting Falcon jet currently used by active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units.
The planes are the signature fixture of Utah's Hill Air Force Base. The ones to be cut over the next decade would be the oldest models of the fighter, which made its combat-operational debut at Hill in 1979.
But Congressman Rob Bishop says it's NOT a done deal. He tells The Salt Lake Tribune that it is his sense this is still in the discussion stages.
The newest F-16s coming off the assembly line are being bought by the United Arab Emirates Air Force. Bishop says we can't sit on the F-16s forever because the world is catching up to the technology.
He says replacement has to take at some point, and says the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be a perfect fit for Hill Air Force Base.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)