Aircraft programs won big in the FY19 defense appropriations bill, which was released by Congress in September. Lawmakers bolstered the major service aircraft accounts by a combined $2.5 billion in the bill, which includes an additional $1.2 billion for the Navy, $841.8 million for the Air Force, and $500.6 million for the Army. Most of the major changes made to the aircraft coffers stemmed from the House Appropriations Committee markup, which originally called for an additional $2.4 billion in aircraft funding. The Senate markup added $1.7 billion for aircraft, but the Army would have actually lost nearly half a billion dollars under the Senate bill.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed its version of the FY19 defense authorization bill by a vote of 351-66. The bill supports a Pentagon base budget of $639.1 billion, which complies with the two-year budget deal agreed upon earlier this year that amended national security spending caps in FY18 and FY19. This base spending includes $617.1 billion for the Pentagon, $21.8 billion for nuclear programs in the Department of Energy, and $214 million for other defense-related activities. The bill recommends $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), matching the request, for a total of $708.1 billion in discretionary defense spending in FY19. Continue reading
On the eve of the opening of the 2015 Paris Air Show, Sweden’s defense procurement head Lena Erixon announced that the country would receive its first anti-submarine warfare (ASW) NH90 helicopter in the fall. Erixon made the announcement at the Swedish Air Force fan club event in Paris on June 14, while Swedish air chief Maj. Gen. Micael Byden noted that what had originally been pitched as a turnkey program in 2007 remains under development and has raised concerns within the service. Continue reading