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Air Force Adds to ‘Boneyard'

The boneyard has 4,000 retired military aircraft, more than any other place in the world.


The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona is often referred to as the Boneyard.

That’s because it houses approximately 4,000 retired military aircraft – more than anyplace else in the world. And, according to recent reports, it’s about to get a little bigger.

The Air Force has announced plans to retire more than 100 planes across its bomber, airlift, tanker and drone fleets in order to make room for additional aircraft tied to its $1 billion Next Generation Air Dominance program.

According to a report on, shipping 17 B-1B Lancer bombers, 44 A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jets, 30 KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender refuelers, as well as 24 RQ-4 Global Hawk drones and 24 C-130H Hercules troop transport planes will free up over $4 billion that the Air Force can use on some other stuff with really cool names.

For example, the aforementioned Air Dominance program will explore what future fighter jet operations could look like and support the Advanced Battle Management System. This program will look to sync current intel with surveillance information and machine-gathered reconnaissance data in formulating military plans.

In addition to investing in strategic air combat and defense planning, the funds will be used to help boost and update the Air Force’s current fleet with new F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, F-15EX fighter jets and MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters.

The aircraft that make their way to the 2,600-acre Boneyard will either be stored for potential use in the short term, picked for parts, or readied for sale. On average, aircraft at the facility produce about $500 million in sales to “military, government and allied customers.

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