WASHINGTON — The US Air Force has requested $841 million in the fiscal 2014 budget for tactical missiles, a jump of nearly $200 million from proposed 2013 levels.
The money would fund the purchase of 1,164 missiles, up from 991 in the 2013 proposed base budget. In total, the US Defense Department wants to spend $5.34 billion for “missiles, spacecraft, rockets and related equipment.”
The largest financial request is for 199 of Raytheon’s advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs), for which the service requested $340 million. The US Navy, which also uses AMRAAMs, has requested 54 missiles. The budget request also notes that foreign military sales of the AIM-120C7 model are projected at the rate of 200 per year.
The Air Force has also requested $291.1 million for 183 joint air-to-surface standoff missiles (JASSMs) designed by Lockheed Martin. An autonomous, air-to-ground precision weapon, the JASSM comes in two models: the baseline version and the extended-range (JASSM-ER) model, which improves the range by more than two and a half times. In the fiscal 2014 request, 80 of the missiles will be of the ER variety, but going forward, the service expects to phase out purchases of the baseline model by fiscal 2017.
Other tactical weapons the Air Force has requested include 225 Sidewinder missiles for $119.9 million, 144 small diameter bombs at $42.3 million, and 413 Hellfire missiles designed for use by Predator unmanned aircraft. The Hellfires will cost $48.5 million.■