WASHINGTON — The House Armed Services Committee in its markup of the upcoming defense policy bill will likely restore the 11 F-35 joint strike fighters the military services were forced to cut from their latest budget requests, according to a congressional source.
The move would meet the latest Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps requests for fighter jets in so-called unfunded priorities lists each of the armed services are asked to submit to Congress each year. The committee will include funding for 5 F-35As, four F-35Cs and two F-35Bs, according to the source.
The Air Force in its wish list requested $691 million for five F-35As, bringing the total jets bought in fiscal 2017 back up to the originally planned 48.
Meanwhile, the Navy asked for $270 million for two additional carrier-based F-35Cs, and the Marine Corps requested $759 million to procure two each of the F-35Cs and F-35Bs.
The committee will also likely restore the 14 F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet strike fighters the Navy cut from its budget request, according to multiple sources. The Navy asked for $1.54 billion to buy the aircraft.
The HASC will release its version of the full National Defense Authorization Act next week. The congressional source cautioned that the bill's funding tables are not yet finalized.