Air Force seeks budget boost, more F-35s

Air Force seeks budget boost, more F-35s

The U.S. Air Force in its 2014 budget request seeks to buy more F-35 fighter jets, restock its inventory of precision munitions and slightly thin the ranks of active-duty airmen.

The Air Force stands to gain at least $4.65 billion under the Defense Department’s budget unveiled yesterday for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The boost — the only year-over-year increase for any service — is part of a larger Pentagon strategy to shift emphasis from the ground wars of the past decade and toward threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This budget made important investments in the new strategy – including re-balancing to Asia” and added funding in such areas as cybersecurity, special operations, global mobility and unmanned systems, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said April 11 in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

The Air Force’s base budget, which excludes funding for the war in Afghanistan, would total $144 billion. That’s 3.3 more than what the service is expected to receive this year.

Even so, the service would decrease its active-duty component by 1,900 airmen, less than a percent, to 327,600 airmen. The budget would provide a 1 percent increase in basic pay, a 4.2 percent rise in basic allowance for housing, and a 3.4 percent bump in basic allowance for subsistence.

The spending plan would keep “on track” the Air Force’s top three investments: the F-35A, KC-46A tanker being developed by Boeing Co. and long-range strike bomber, according to budget materials. The service wants to buy 19 more F-35s, part of a military-wide effort to buy 29 of the aircraft for $8.4 billion. (The Marine Corps wants six and the Navy wants four.)

The Air Force also would boost funding for “priority” investments to counter threats from countries such as Iran and North Korea. In addition to the F-22 and F-35, these include the Lockheed Martin-made C-130J cargo plane, spending on which would rise $700 million to $2.1 billion, as well as medium– and heavy-lift rockets to launch military and spy satellites, funding for which would increase $200 million to $1.9 billion. The boosters are made United Launch Alliance LLC, a joint venture of Lockheed and Boeing Co.

The budget would also spend $200 million to buy almost 7,000 GPS-based guidance packages for bombs to restore a “depleted” inventory of so-called Joint Direct Attack Munitions.

The spending plan would cancel the Expeditionary Combat Support System, developed by Oracle Corp., because it needs another $1 billion to complete and won’t be ready for fielding until 2020, according to budget documents. The Air Force since 2005 has already spent more than $1 billion on the system, which was designed to make it easier for the service to buy and manage equipment.

Like the rest of the military, the Air Force is struggling with automatic budget cuts that took effect March 1, as well as shortfalls in war funding due to higher-than-expected transportation costs. As a result, it has curtailed training and flying hours, reduced the number of Lockheed Martin Corp.-made F-35s it plans to buy this year from 19 to as few as 15, and delayed the purchase of upgraded Reaper drones made by General Atomics.

The across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, “will result in an impact to our ability to be ready,” Maj. Gen. Edward Bolton, deputy assistant secretary of the budget, said during an April 10 briefing at the Pentagon.

The reductions aren’t included in Air Force’s base budget for next year because the federal budget assumes the White House and Congress will replace them with an alternative deficit-reduction agreement.

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Don’t give them the budget boost.

We completely have the wrong attitude here. We are $17 trillion in the hole, with another $3 trillion of Federal Reserve “stimulus” on their balance sheet (that the taxpayers are also liable for). If Iran and North Korea are threats we need to tell our Middle East, South Korean and Japanese “partners’ THEY should be buying more F-22’s and F-35’s! That WE are tired of paying for THEIR defense.

I agree with BlackOwl18E. Don’t give them the boost. Better. Cut the FY 2014 Air Force budget to 5% below their FY 2013 budget level so we can claim a “savings” from making our allies pay THEIR fair share. It’s bad enough we have budget-busting social welfare programs in this country. We don’t need to support our rich allies as well. It’s time to STOP their defense subsidy.

The Japanese wanted to buy F-22’s — but the US refused to sell them to them. Apparently, the sting of other stuff we sold the Japanese that ended up in Russian (or Chinese) hands afterwards still bothers people.

Concur. The Chair Force should be put under some form of receivership.

Which stuff would that be? Toshiba sold the Soviets some gear that was used on the Akulas, but was that American?

I think we should just cut the Air Force.

Just what we need, more mistake jets. How about completing SDD and finding out if this thing is ever going to work or be affordable before buying more jets with defects!

At current budgeting levels the Junk Strike Fighter is costing more and more each year, Please Read “F-35 Funding Takes Hit in FY14 Budget Request” from “Defense Aerospace” and I quote “This means that, despite assurances to the contrary by the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon expects the average unit cost of the F-35 to increase from $212.03 million in FY13 to $219.34 in F14.”.
. http://​www​.defense​-aerospace​.com/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​-​v​i​e​w​/​rel
$219.34 Million a piece, When are they going to admit that this was a “Really Bad Idea” and restart the F-22 , that only cost between $120–140 Million depending on who you talk to. We also need to up-grade are current F-15’s & F-16’s and quit wasting Billions & Billions of dollars on this monstrosity.

The USAF does need the LRS-B, but not the 1,700+ short range F-35s. The days of the single pilot, Knight of the Skies” meme are over. The trouble is the USAF senior leadership are mostly fighter pilots. At least Navy leaders are drawn from a broader array of skills and experience.

Oh, be nice to all of us poor zoomies; just think of the impact of the golfing equipment industry if you cut back on Air Force bases! Try not to hold a grudge JUST because I asked you about the Hornet’s LEX! :-)

Thrumm.… Thrumm.…Thrummm.
It;s been a while since our heroic explorer has visted the Sweetie tribe, and the ‘Sweeties’ are restless. One who appears to be possibly the local Medicine Man cast a string of nonsensical gibberish“219.34Millionapiece”. Our intrepid adventurer recognized the ‘hex’ though.
The anthropologists studying the Sweeties won’t like this. “They’re becoming Cargo Cult followers of the “Euro-shill” — OMG! Theyve become ‘DiBrigantized’. Shaking his head, he thought, “Whatta tragedy”. “The only guy in Europe with zero consequential knowledge, and the Sweeties have the bad luck to fall under his influence.” http://​elementsofpower​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​5​/​g​i​ova
The explorer decided he better leave the poor wretches alone for now. “They’ve got enough problems”.
Thrumm.… Thrumm.…Thrummm. and the ‘clicking’ began anew.

You want the truth. I really don’t care about you or anything you say. I honestly don’t even remember you pointing out the LEX (or do you mean LERX?) on the Hornet or what you were saying about them.

The Air Force has been the biggest waister of defense dollars. Now that they have some how managed to suck in the budget of the USN with the F-35 program and we have no way of getting out, despite the CNO’s very obvious hints that the Navy doesn’t want the F-35C, it has led me to believe that the USAF is now more of a hindrance to our other military services than a help. In the mean time the USAF waist their money on unnecessary luxuries that they could easily do without. The Navy is getting more of the budget money for the pacific pivot, but our budget for tactical air power is still crippled by the F-35C and the program has become an embarrassment on an international level.


“I need a 5th generation strike fighter and this provides it,”

Yeah, that sure sounds like an obvious hint…

Why are you so bitter against the Air Force again? What are these “unnecessary luxuries” that the Air Force is wasting (not ‘waist’ btw) money on?

Read this article: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​3​/​0​3/n

“It has to be integrated into the airwing.“
“If we bought no C’s, it would be very detrimental to the overall program” and to international partners, he said.

The CNO is very good at making it clear that the the Navy will fund the F-35, but he is very subtle at showing that the he doesn’t want the F-35. “It is now fair to say that Navy budget spending for the Joint Strike Fighter is now more important to the Department of the Air Force and the Department of State than it is for the Department of the Navy, because it is more important for the National Security Policy of the United States for the F-35A to be affordable to multinational partners than it is for the F-35C to fly off US Navy aircraft carriers.”

Uh, there is a reason they left the Army; you’re just upset that the Air Force is still holding on to the JSF.

And the comment section turns into another F-35 debate…

How about that long-range strike bomber? I wonder if they’re looking at something closer in size/range to the FB-111 or a full sized strategic bomber.

What pray tell did we shoot the several thousand JASSMs at instead of the S300s? Stand off munitions to cripple an enemy’s IADSs is kind of the point of JASSMs don’t you think?

$64k question, since it’s a black program. I read an article once advocating for a very modest payload and range to keep costs down, and to put the effort into active/passive stealth features.

But in spite of the Black Owl’s little dig at my humor, perhaps there is reason to question that separation. Having seen both sides of the fence, and of course genuflecting towards my graven image of Billy Mitchell on a regular basis, the USN and particularly the USMC integration of airpower with the other combat arms deserves a long look. Lots of folks, on both sides of the USA/USAF tactical operations try hard to overcome the “organizational jealousies” and interservice rivalries, but.… you just dont get the kind of “coordination” that you get when “every Marine is a rifleman, just some fly jets!”. For the strategic part, OK, Billy may have been right but.… … Why SHOULDNT the USA own the A-10s and strike fighters?

They should.

I meant LEX, the Leading Edge Extensions, specifically the rework to clean up the vortices that buffeted the tails during very high AOA. Would not want one of those “design features” of the aircraft, designed and incorporated to enhance high AOA capability, to cause the tails to fatigue and fall off now would we?

And if you actually happen to FLY an F/A-18 E/F or /G (or even one of the C/Ds that are still around!), I do care about you and what you do. I want very much for you to have the best most capable fighter you can be provided because I have this ugly feeling that before too long you will need it. On the other hand. if you DONT actually fly a real F/A-18, I understand that you can make lots of “improvements” to Hornet performance with some slick hacks of MS Flight Simulator! Doesnt require any REAL engineering or program dollars, And it would be useful in computer-driven air combat to just set the fuel onboard to “unlimited” and available thrust to 100000 lbsf! :-)

Cant be an aviator if you don’t know the difference between lex and lerx

They’ve sure got some gall after the continuing cock-up sage associated with this aircraft. The manufacturers must be promising the generals big jobs when they retire.

Man, I do not get it. CUT the defense budget to save money…what a crock. We have near depression level unemployment and you people want to cut the defense budget.…yeah, right. The biggest mistake this country makes is investing in a so called peace dividend. Our intellegence community is taking a hit. A big mistake. Our ability to defend our interests in the Pacific or in the Persian gulf is hampered. But yet when the flow of oil stops and Americans cannot drive their cars, or the massive flow of cheap Chinese made in America products stops, or food that comes from abroad because we put our farmers out of business stops, will we realize we have a huge problem with a bunch of nimrods trying to save a buck or two by cutting off our collective noses to spite our faces. SO, I say lets spend money, increase the defense budget, and stop listening to the idiots who depend on a peace dividend to make a buck or two.

Seems ironic to spend 2 billion on a system to buy and manage equipment that takes 15 to 20 years to develop. Defense contractors (some) approach RFPs (requests for proposal) with the rational of: 1. Is it a product or service that we can make money at, and: 2. Structure the proposal to win win and we’ll figure out how to make it work later (Meet the demands of the RFP and if we underbid we can show enough development and promise to justify more funds later).
— Some products or services hold so much promise for future business that an initial break even or profit loss is acceptable and some don’t but once in the expenditures and future service of the contracts product will always be protected by learned means to engender continued payment until a sound financial outcome is assured. Cut losses and get out is an early on outcome, not one use after a programs life has begun to mature.

Having retired out of the AF for nearly 10 years I can’t make sense of their responses to the budget and the security environment. Cut flying hours, cut training, furloughs, etc. yet spend > $200M a copy on a fighter that has not finished development and still requires TBD fixes and mods when fielded. Looking at the latest GAO hit list of programs I can’t believe all the gone nowhere programs they have resurrected and are dithering around on, like they had found a lost wallet full of $$$$. Huh???? No CINC and no adults in charge.

Well JSF was a USAF program all along in terms of who really wants it. So im not surprised.

Obvious troll is obvious

Concur with STemplar.

Can you say 2 engines are better than 1 ? The F-35 is nothing but a DOD contractor money hand off to the most greedy, crooked politicians to date. Period !!!

Dude, you have some of the funniest posts I’ve seen in a while. All screaming and yelling about something you do not understand. Thanks for the laughs though!

They didn’t “clean up” the vortices off the F-18 LEX, they actually made it dirtier so the bubble pops well before it gets to the verticals. Of course, that also limits the amount of lift generated over the wing by those now really f’ed up vortices. But, lest you get too smug in rooting for the Air Force, realize that the same problem exists with the F-22/F-35, which were designed with the full benefit of hindsight into the problems the F-18 had. Of course, there the fly-by-wire control system keeps them out of that angle of attack range where those bubbles burst and tear off the verticals. Plus, I suppose you already know that the F-18E/F has a much wider LEX that keeps the vortex outboard of the verticals enough to keep from having the same problems.

Perhaps we should make sure the pilots that we already have are actually getting proper amount of flying hours before dumping more money into planes that still, more than 10 years later, aren’t even combat-capable

When I said “clean up” what I really should have said might have been “fixed”; I did not go into the details of the aerodynamics (NASA’s reports say it much better and in more precise technical detail than I, not being an aerodynamicist by trade.) ANY aircraft that has high AOA capability must pay particular detail to the rather turbulent airflow generated above the fuselage, wings strakes, canards, and the interaction with any of the vertical tail surfaces. Its just physics. The “restrictions” applied by FBW control systems were a big stink amongst some of the F-4 pilots that transitioned into F-16s all those years ago. The F-16 played “nanny” with their control inputs, in effect limiting “G” to a level supportable by the structure and flight conditions. In even as sturdy of an aircraft as the F-4 the pilot could, in theory, pull more G’s than the aerodynamics OR structure could reasonably sustain. For those old crusty Phantom (and A-4) drivers who had brought home a bent fighter from Hanoi did not appreciate the idea of “Nanny” preventing them from bending a Falcon under similar conditions! SOMETIMES high AOA even AOA beyond the controllable or nominal structural limits of the aircraft, is a very good idea if you want to avoid an extended stay in the local Hilton! Just because we CAN implement a non-negotiable “Nanny” in the FCS doesnt necessary mean that we really should! :-) Consider how the “Sniper PIlot” detent/override is implemented in the MiG-29 and SU-27.… . AND I would have expected you to note the dripping sarcasm in my comment about the USAF golf courses and my non-sarcastic suggestion that TACAIR might best belong under the Army.… :-(

Well the USAF is fully committed to the F-35 along with the USMC. The only one not comitted, but not in the driver seat is the USN. The F-35 will be a game changer in how the USAF will avoid using it to prevent losses due to high costs. The USAF is in a quandry, getting far fewer F-22A’s than it wanted and having to keep the F-15C in the air far past it’s airframe life expectency. They are counting on the F-35A to make up for the retiring F-16C’s, but obviously they can’t replace the F-16C one for one at the cost of the F-35A. It would make sense for the USAF to get off the “stealth only” mantra and purchase more conventional fighters for less demanding air cobat scenarios.

The USAF should be consolidated back into the Army. It pains me that so many “wise” people don’t see the hundreds of millions that could be saved.

Since we bought less than 200 F-22As why don’t we buy 200 F-15 Silent Eagles and 200 F-16 Block 60 fighters to help fill out or replace the same planes that are old and need to be retired.

New Flash, alies are broke too.….

Everyone knows Air Force gets more funding than any other part of the Armed Forces! I say cut their budget in half. Of Course I’d also like to add that I think all Congree, Senate and House of Representives should get their pay cut in HALF — that would definitely Help!

You are wrong there is another reason the Japanese could not buy the F22 and it wasn’t because other stuff sold to Japan ended up in Russia.

BlackOwl18E.…your atatement needs justification, otherwise it could, and should, be labeled stupid!!!! Interservice rivalery continues just as it did durig the Billy Mtchell days and his bid for Air Power vs the Battle Ships Admirals! We still hae those same thinking idiots that affect Our Military, only the more recent samples that is.…

I would be in total agreement but most defense contractors also have foreign foot prints. What happen to “Made in America” only when it came to defense acquisition. The shrinking of defense contractors has taken jobs “overseas” — the US Army Lakota helicopter for example. If done right like the “Reagan Military” build up in the 80s — a boom for those of us in the military at the time and for the defense contractors. The landscape has changed so drastically that I don’t recognize the USA anymore!

And AF leadership continues to show a disconnect from reality. F-35 is a POS, everybody know it.., but them. They’ve proven time and again that they can’t be trusted to be honest with congress about the amount of money they need or the status of their programs. Perhaps its time to put the AF back under the Army.

Only one problem, you can’t “up-grade” 15s and 16s to be stealthy.

The Marines and the Navy are buying them too.

It’s easy to talk about costs when you don’t have to fly a high RCS F-15/16 into a combat zone.

You will find the pilots that aren’t being paid to talk up the F-35 would rather fly a F-15/16 into combat.

So you want to fly over a S-300 in something that cant pull more than 4.6G s ?

Would it matter how many G’s you can pull against a SAM? It’s ECM or bust.

Fixing the F-35 is going to add more weight and degrade performance further. In the end we are going to have a cow that is straining to pull 3Gs.

“All F-35s will sit at 5.0g or less sustained turn performance – a figure that places them in a class with 1960s era planes like the F-5 or F-4 Phantom, instead of modern designs like the F-16. Acceleration is also poorer, compared to a reference F-16C Block 50 with AMRAAM missiles on its wingtips zooming from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2.

The USAF’s F-35A dropped the most, from an expected 5.3g – 4.6g in sustained turns. Acceleration will take 8 seconds longer than the F-16.

The STOVL F-35B dropped from 5.0g to just 4.5g, and its engine is weaker in straight flight performance, in exchange for increased thrust during vertical landings. Its acceleration takes 16 seconds longer than the F-16.

The Navy’s large-winged F-35C did best in turning, with a slight drop from 5.1g – 5.0g, but trans-sonic acceleration was abysmal at 43 seconds longer. ”

Learn the difference between instantaneous and sustained turn rates.

Check out the F-15 Silent Eagle. Perhaps we should buy 200 of them…

Since we have less than 200 F-22s, either we should buy more of them or buy 200 F-15 Silent Eagles.

Totally agree. The problem with the Air Force and buying new aircraft is the “Fighter Pilot Mafia”, that runs the Air Force. If you know what I’m referring to, you’ve worn the uniform.

F-15 Eagle Keeper,

I totally agree that we all should say two engines is so much better than one engine. The F-35 “Joke Still Flying” is nothing but a “bankrupter”.

1. The USAF plans to have about 3k JASSM versus 1,600 Chinese S-300s and S-300 knocks offs and their 300 batteries. http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​A​G​M​-​1​5​8​_​J​A​SSM
While this is more than enough to get the launchers, It wont even come close to being enough for all of the Chinese air fields, Older SAM targets, hardened Command bunkers. The Chinese are rumored to have networks of underground tunnels and bunkers–11-29/wor

2. This throws your theory of U.S. fighter pilots for ever being able to throw stand off weapons at the enemy, from 200+ miles out in a quandary. You A. Have to deal with Long distances and very poor sortie Rates, if your going to use tactical fighters. B. If You use High tempo heavy Bomber strikes, your likely to use up your very finite JASSM inventory very quickly.

3. Eventually someone will have to get in a tactical fighter and get closer to the target. If I have to get closer to my target, to drop JDAM, and SDB, and Im already over Indian territory, and with limited fuel, I certainly don’t want to DOG fight my way in and out if necessary. lets Not forget some Target cant only be Hit with laser guided bunker busters

I just find it odd, How for years, we have won major wars with the F-117, and B-2, But Now the naysayers want to go back to vintage fighters, and forgo development of the next generation F-35. If the Government was smart they would INCREASE the production rate of the F-35. The massive savings from economy of scale would offset any serious production refits. The plane is already $ 119 a pop for LRIP lot 5. if we would stick to the original plane the price would be under 100 mill

Who cares about a 10 million dollar refit when your planes base cost is $60Mill?

We don’t have the money for this, yet somehow we have money to build up Eqypt’s military and we have plenty of money to pay RENT for our bases in Europe, Korea, and Japan so that we can defend them. Not to mention free prescription drugs and healthcare for all, college for illegal aliens, welfare, and foodstamps. And nobody seems to see anything wrong with this picture.

Nothing screams Joint Warfighting like three services buying the same aircraft.

Way out of line.. Lobbyist have infected both Sr. Military and Congressional.decision makers alike. Unproven threats, No navy Carrier attributes (Tail hook, arresting gear, wing folding for storage and movement). For once was a create sustainable jobs program has now turned into lay people off for more profits. Congress needs to set a cap on aircraft orders, forget any enhancements not already in airplane; keep and train personnel in ranks.

@ oblatt1

I also heard that the Pentagon urges safety valve for F-35 to help jet survive attack.

This 2 lb safety valve system part of 43 lb (20 kg) equipment will also increase more weight on the F-35 affecting the aircraft’s flight performance parameters, making it draggier that can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run to escape enemy fighters/guns/missiles, terrible acceleration, limited range/endurance and it won’t have enough motor for the weight.

And AF management is constantly on the display a detach from truth. F-35 is a POS, everybody know it.., but them. They’ve confirmed efforts and again that they can’t be reliable to be sincere with the legislature about the cash they need or the position of their applications. Perhaps its a chance to put the AF returning under the Military.


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