( CNN) A 1980 s-era combat jet that has long been hailed as the most successful dog-fighting aircraft in US history may have finally met its match.

It is not an enemy plane that is threatening to end the F-1 5 Eagle's 40 -year reign as king of the skies, but instead the US Air Force's latest cost-cutting endeavours.

Air Force generals floated the idea of retiring hundreds of F-1 5s during a hearing before the House Armed Services subcommittee last week, pitching a scheme that included replacing the current fleet of battle-tested fighters with an upgraded version of the F-1 6 Fighting Falcon.

The U.S. military's $400 B fighter jet( 2016)