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The F-15EX, by contrast, is a two-seat plane. "With two seats, it will be multirole-capable and operable by one or two aircrew," according to the Air Force.
Critics in the media pointed out that the Air Force didn't actually want the new F-15s. Instead, the U.S. Defense Department's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, one of the military's many analytical organizations, convinced the office of acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan to add eight F-15EXs to the department's 2020 budget proposal.