The US Air Force on 11 March released a detailed budget proposal showing how much it intends to spend in the five-year period to fiscal year 2019 on current and next-generation aircraft programmes.
According to the documents, the service wants to inject $11.4 billion over the period to develop a long-range strike bomber (LRS-B), which it hopes will reach initial operational capability by the mid-2020s. The air force also intends to spend nearly $2 billion between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 to field a next-generation joint surveillance target attack radar system (JSTARS), and more than $1.6 billion to replace the fleet of US presidential Boeing VC-25 aircraft, which are converted Boeing 747-200s.
In addition, the proposal includes an investment of nearly $670 million on new jet fighter trainers – the T-X replacement programme – and more than $40 million on joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSMs).
The documents also detail how much the USAF plans to spend to bolster its existing fleet.
The plan calls for an investment of almost $28 billion over five years to purchase 238 Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, at an average flyaway cost of about $107 million each. The USAF also proposes spending nearly $15 billion on 69 Boeing KC-46A tankers, about $7.2 billion on 70 Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports and $2 billion for 63 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reapers.