US spending bill would trim US military procurement in fiscal year 2014

Washington DC
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

The $1.1 trillion proposed spending bill being considered by the US Congress would provide the US Department of Defense with $487 billion in spending in fiscal year 2014, roughly the same amount as was allocated in FY2013.

Though less than the $526 billion the DoD requested, both Democrat and Republican lawmakers have hailed the bill as a bi-partisan budget that avoids billions in additional across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester.

On 15 January the 1,582-page bill passed a House vote and moved to the Senate.

While it would maintain overall defence spending at nearly 2013 levels, the budget would cut funding for military procurement and equipment upgrades to $93 billion; $7.5 billion less than last fiscal year.

Of that total, the proposed budget would provide roughly $31 billion for new aircraft and $9 billion for missiles and other weapons.

The US Navy would receive the largest share for new aircraft, at $16.4 billion, slightly less than the $17.9 billion requested. The Navy will also get $3 billion to buy and modernise torpedoes, missiles and other weapons.

The bill provides nearly $2.3 billion in USN funding for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme, less than the $2.5 billion requested.

It cuts F-35 procurement by one aircraft, a $79 million savings.

The proposed budget would allot $10.3 billion to the US Air Force for new aircraft and related equipment, $110 less than requested. It also would give the USAF $4.4 billion to purchase new missiles.

The bill funds the USAF’s F-35 programme at $3.4 billion, nearly $200 million less than requested. The savings are partly achieved by cutting advanced procurement funding for two aircraft.

The US Army, which requested $5 billion for new aircraft, would receive $4.8 billion under the budget.

The bill trims funding for the army's aerial common sensor programme to $84.7 million, $57.3 million less than requested. It funds the Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior programme at $108.3 million, nearly $76 million less than requested, and the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1 Gray Eagle programme at $437.1 million, some $81 million less than requested.

In addition, the bill provides additional funds that the DoD can use for so-called “overseas contingency operations”, which are military operations that support the US “war on terrorism”, including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Those funds include an additional $211 million for new USN aircraft and $86.5 for new navy weapons. The USAF would also receive an additional $188.9 million for aircraft and $24.2 million for missiles, while the army would receive $669 million more for aircraft and $128.6 for missiles.