Friday, January 30, 2015

Pentagon military wish lists: Will they move forward or step back in funding?

Inside Defense gave this rundown of weapon systems to watch when the Dept. of Defense rolls out its Fiscal 2016 budget requests. The DOD next week will ask Congress for $534 billion for the FY-16 base budget, $34 billion above the statutory spending caps.

New Bomber. The Air Force planned to ramp up development spending in FY-16 to $1.6 billion, a $676
million increase for the classified program. Has the outyear funding profile changed?
Sixth-Generation Fighter. The Air Force last year secured $15.7 million in seed money for a sixth-gen fighter program, but funding was slated to dip to $3.9 million in FY-16 and be zeroed in the outyears.What is the new funding profile? Also, will the Navy advance a plan to begin work on an F/A-18 replacement, and what are the plans for the two services to coordinate their early analytical work on this capability, as top Pentagon officials have directed?
Aircraft Carrier Replacement Program. Will the Navy seek advanced procurement funding for CVN-80, the third-ship of the Ford class, as planned in FY-16? Does the Navy believe the first two ships can be built without lifting current statutory cost caps? If not, how much more does the program require?
MH-60R. Will the Navy restore FY-16 funding for Romeo helicopters? The FY-15 budget terminated the Navy buy in FY-16, a move that would place at risk $1.6 billion in planned Defense Department savings and breach separate major multiyear procurement deals with Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin.
Tomahawk. Will the Navy reinstate 1,100 missiles cut from the procurement plan last year in the wake of congressional objections to ending production of the high-profile cruise missile?
AH-64E New-Build. The Army's FY-14 budget deferred plans to buy newly built AH-64E attack helicopters; will the service stick with plans to reinstate purchases beginning in FY-20 with seven new-built aircraft?
Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare: The Navy last year announced plans to buy Lockheed's Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles beginning in FY-17 as an OASuW Increment I capability; Lockheed last year extended the development contract. Is that schedule holding, and does the service have new details on the Increment II capability -- of keen interest to Raytheon's Tomahawk shop?
SM-3 Block IB. Will MDA seek multiyear procurement authority for the Raytheon-built guided missile interceptor? Has the redesign of a critical subcomponent further delayed full-rate production?
Indirect Fire Protection Capability-2. The Army plans a 60 percent increase in FY-16 for the project, with plans to transition to engineering and manufacturing development in FY-16. Will that plan hold?

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