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Congress Boosts Aircraft Procurement in Omnibus Spending Bill

December 17, 2015 (Photo Credit: MC3 Utah Kledzik/US Navy)

WASHINGTON — In a massive spending bill unveiled yesterday, Congress boosted funding for aircraft procurement, allowing the Pentagon to buy additional F-35 joint strike fighters and MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicles.

Lawmakers included $1.33 billion for 11 additional F-35s across the armed services: three conventional takeoff and landing F-35As for the Air Force; two carrier variant F-35Cs for the Navy; and six short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs for the Marine Corps, according to a summary of the bill.

 

For the Air Force, Congress added $80 million to buy four additional MQ-9 armed Reapers, meeting one of the service’s unfunded requirements.

The bill also includes $64.5 million for an additional special operations CV-22 Osprey for attrition reserve, as well as funding to upgrade the service’s fleet of C-130s.  

For the Navy, lawmakers included $1.01 billion for seven additional EA-18G Growler electronic aircraft and five more F/A-18 Super Hornets.

The bill also includes a $500 million increase for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), according to the summary.

Email: lseligman@defensenews.com

Twitter: @laraseligman

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