Monday, March 23, 2015

US Navy Asks Congress for Additional 12 F/A-18E/Fs and 8 F-35Cs Outside of Normal Budget

The U.S. Navy included 12 Boeing Co F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets and eight Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s on a list of "unfunded priorities" prepared for Congress, defense officials and other sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Navy's list was reviewed by senior Pentagon officials and the Joint Chiefs of Staff this week, and should be sent to U.S. lawmakers in coming days, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the vetting is still under way.

Top Pentagon officials are skeptical about the weapons wish lists, and worry they help lawmakers "cherry pick" specific weapons programs to fund, while crowding out bigger priorities. However, they say they will not stand in the way of the military services complying with requests from lawmakers.

The total value of the additional 12 Boeing jets is around $1 billion, while the eight extra Lockheed jets would be just over $1 billion, the sources said.

A decision by Congress to fund the extra Boeing jets as part of the Navy's fiscal 2016 budget would help the company extend its St. Louis production line beyond the end of 2017, although it was not immediately clear for how long.

No comments: