The Pentagon's planned five-year spending plan for procurement and research-and-development projects, set forth in its 2015 budget proposal, would be cut by $66 billion if US federal spending caps remain in place, according to a new Defense Department report. (AFP)
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s planned five-year spending plan for procurement and research-and-development projects, set forth in its 2015 budget proposal, would be cut by $66 billion if US federal spending caps remain in place, according to a new Defense Department report.
The cuts would impact dozens of Pentagon programs, including the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighter, Boeing KC-46 tanker and Airbus Light Utility Helicopter.
The Pentagon’s five-year spending plan submitted with its 2015 budget proposal is $115 billion above defense spending caps.
If the caps remain in place, the Army would not sign another multiyear procurement deal with Sikorsky for new Black Hawk helicopters and a fourth brigade of General Dynamics Stryker double-hull vehicles would also be canceled.
The Army would also reduce a buy of new Airbus UH-72 Light Utility Helicopters from 100 to 55 aircraft, meaning existing National Guard helicopters would get transferred to the active-duty for training.
The planned purchase of more than 1,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles would also be pushed back.
Procurement of the Marine Corps Sikorsky-built CH-53K helicopter would be postponed one year, should the caps remain in place. The Marine’s development of a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle would also be delayed.
The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey program would continue at planned spending levels, but procurement of Bell H-1 helicopters would also be pushed back, at increased cost.
In the Navy, three fewer DD-51 Flight III destroyers would be procured in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A second Virginia-class submarine in 2016 would be “unaffordable.”
The nuclear refueling of the aircraft carrier George Washington would be canceled and the ship would be retired, and the Navy would also delay the procurement of six Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.
If the spending caps remain in place, the Air Force would purchase five fewer Boeing KC-46 tankers and delay the start of the Combat Rescue Helicopter Program until 2019.
It would also purchase 10 fewer Lockheed Martin MC-130Js, one fewer Lockheed GPS III satellite and eliminate an adaptive engine program.
The Air Force would cut 16 Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighters and the Air Force would field one fewer squadron of jets over the next five years, according to the report. The Marine Corps F-35B would remain in tact and the Navy would postpone its planned F-35 buys by two years.
The Pentagon would also cut planned procurement of 531 Raytheon Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM). More than 17,000 Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munitions would also be cut.
As known, the Air Force would divest the Boeing KC-10 tanker fleet, the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk block 40 unmanned surveillance aircraft and cancel a planned buy of 38 General Atomics MQ-9 Reapers.
DoD would not fund the Ballistic Missile Defense Midcourse Defense Segment and additional ground-based sensors.