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Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2019, 22:16
by marauder2048
Corsair1963 wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:Not sure the Air Force can really retire much of anything if it hopes to hit the NDS mandated number of squadrons.

At the same rate as the planned F-15EX.

From the article (my emphasis):

And for Esper to be effective at making consequential and forward-looking changes, he will have to do what he did as Army secretary and personally lead the process, not delegate to a deputy or, say, the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation , Brose warned.

Those are encouraging words of advice.

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 01:50
by Corsair1963

Why program cuts from Esper’s Pentagon-wide review could come sooner than expected
By: Aaron Mehta

WASHINGTON — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper intends to implement changes from his review of Defense Department organizations on a rolling basis, rather than waiting until the review process is completely finished, according to the department’s top spokesman.

Jonathan Rath Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, said Monday that there’s “no interest” from Esper to wait until the review is fully done or the start of the next fiscal year to start implementing program changes, including potential cuts.

“It’s going to be an ongoing process. If he makes a decision, it’s not going to be ‘I have to look through everything and then make some decisions.’ If he sees a program that needs to end or be moved, he’ll make that decision as quickly as he can,” Hoffman told reporters. “He’s going to make changes as we move forward. If he identifies changes that would save money, there’s no interest in waiting until next year to start saving money.”

An Aug. 2 memo kicked off a departmentwide review of programs ahead of the development for the fiscal 2021 budget request. The goal is to find savings and drive a “longer-term focus on structural reform, ensuring all [defensewide] activities are aligned to the National Defense Strategy while evaluating the division of functions between defense-wide organizations and the military departments," per the document.

The so-called fourth estate of the department includes 27 agencies, such as the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Missile Defense Agency. A September 2018 report from the Government Accountability Office estimated those agencies collectively have an annual budget of at least $106 billion.

Esper has acknowledged the review sounds a lot like the “night court” process the Army used to find roughly $25 billion in savings that could then be reinvested into new capabilities. But he has so far declined to offer a target dollar figure for savings.

"It’s a long road. I’m spending two hours a week, 90 minutes to two hours a week on this in formal session, so we’re just going to work our way through it week after week after week,” the secretary said Aug 27. “I’m looking for programs that don’t have as much value relative to another critical war-fighting capability, absolutely.”

Hoffman described the process as starting with internal reviews inside the various offices, looking at what projects are ongoing. Those are cross-checked with assessments from others in the department that are looking to find cost-sharing or cost-saving options. Those are collectively provided up to the deputy secretary of defense before being presented at regular meetings with Esper.

Esper then “holds a review with all the parties that may have equities and go through it. I sat through one of these last week. He really digs into what are the appropriate roles, what are the appropriate missions, is there someone better or capable to hold this than the equity that has it now, is there better cost savings,” Hoffman said.

Some have questioned whether Esper’s plans will run into roadblocks in Congress. On Monday, Hoffman stressed that the department has been keeping Congress in the loop.

“The secretary has been very adamant he wants to make sure Congress is fully informed,” he said. ... -expected/

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 03:09
by Corsair1963
Hoping the F-15EX wouldn't make the latest round of cuts. Yet, it appears it did at least for 2020..... :shock:

That said, not over until the "Fat Lady Sings". Still has the House and President signature. Yet, the latter is a given.... :?

Senate Appropriators Back F-15EX, Add Space Initiatives
​—Rachel S. Cohen

Members of the Senate’s defense appropriations subcommittee on Sept. 10 endorsed the Air Force’s plan to buy the F-15EX from Boeing, signaling authorizers and appropriators in the House and Senate will all back the idea in the final defense policy and spending bills.

The panel’s version of the 2020 defense spending bill includes nearly $1 billion for eight of the new fighter jets, two of which will be used as test aircraft, according to a summary of the bill. Earlier this year, the Senate and House Armed Services committees as well as the House Appropriations Committee included eight F-15EXs in their own legislation, and lawmakers in both chambers must now agree on how much money to offer the program.

Senate appropriators also offer nearly $1.9 billion to plus up the Pentagon’s request for F-35s, bringing total Joint Strike Fighter procurement to 96 airframes in 2020. That includes an extra 12 F-35As for the Air Force and 60 overall for the service. The summary also notes an additional $156 million to jumpstart F-35A procurement in fiscal 2021.

On space, the subcommittee endorsed creation of a Space Force and fully funded the $1.2 billion National Security Space Launch program. The bill “includes a general provision to protect the Air Force launch development and launch service procurement schedules,” the summary states. Senate authorizers similarly blocked changes to NSSL’s second procurement phase amid complaints from industry.

Lawmakers also created a new research spending line for “Tactically Responsive Launch,” a program intended “to ensure the Air Force devotes adequate resources to venture-class launch services,” according to the summary.

NASA sent its first satellites of the venture-class program into space in December 2018. The initiative “aims to provide a dedicated launch capability for smaller payloads such as cubesats on smaller rockets,” the agency said. The Air Force declined to comment on pending legislation.

The Air Force’s major nuclear programs fared well despite an ongoing congressional feud about which weapons to fund: The Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent would receive an extra $65 million on top of the original $570.4 request, and the Long-Range Standoff Weapon would get full funding as well. The B-21 bomber would receive nearly the full request at $2.9 billion.

Topline spending covers about $695 billion for the Pentagon, or $20.5 billion more than was enacted in fiscal 2019. That includes $622.5 billion in the base budget and $70.7 billion for the overseas contingency operations account, according to the committee’s Republican majority.

If enacted, the legislation would provide $1.7 billion to bases like Tyndall AFB, Fla., and Offutt AFB, Neb., for emergency disaster aid following Hurricanes Michael and Florence as well as flooding and earthquakes that occurred in fiscal 2019.

According to the summary, the bill also includes:

•$2.1 billion to buy 12 KC-46 tankers, $700 million and three aircraft fewer than Senate authorizers offered, as well as an additional $35 million for development;
•A $536 million plus-up for the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program;
•$210 million to buy six light-attack aircraft;
•Full funding for the new Air Force One;
•$17.6 billion to buy missiles and ammunition;
•Backing of directed-energy and hypersonics research;
•An additional $91 million for weapon system sustainment; and
•Funding for flying hours.

The subcommittee sent its bill to the full panel on Sept. 10, and the Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the legislation Sept. 12. ... tives.aspx

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 20:29
by afjag
Does anyone know whether DoD and LM are close to finalizing the multiyear F-35 buy? Last I heard was that the goal was to finalize it by the end of August, which obviously did not happen.

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 21:36
by marsavian
F-15EX has a momentum of its own now despite all its original protagonists departing. Will take a new administration with a different outlook to reverse this now.

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2019, 05:43
by Corsair1963
marsavian wrote:F-15EX has a momentum of its own now despite all its original protagonists departing. Will take a new administration with a different outlook to reverse this now.

Actually, it could die quickly as future US Defense Budgets will decline in the coming years.

In addition even if approved. The first batch is just "8" aircraft and 2 of them are for testing. So, considering the small numbered planned to acquire each year. It will be "years" before the first Squadron of F-15EX's ever reaches IOC!

The F-15EX is going to look pretty old by the late 2020's and early 2030's!

That said, if the program is canceled over the next few years. The existing F-15E Squadrons will just absorb them... :wink:

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2019, 16:09
by ricnunes
Corsair1963 wrote:In addition even if approved. The first batch is just "8" aircraft and 2 of them are for testing. So, considering the small numbered planned to acquire each year. It will be "years" before the first Squadron of F-15EX's ever reaches IOC!

The F-15EX is going to look pretty old by the late 2020's and early 2030's!

That said, if the program is canceled over the next few years. The existing F-15E Squadrons will just absorb them... :wink:

Or translated to "simple English" this is only to keep Boeing laboring at the St. Louis plant, or resuming to keep the production line at St. Louis open.

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 13 Sep 2019, 04:38
by marauder2048
marsavian wrote:F-15EX has a momentum of its own now despite all its original protagonists departing. Will take a new administration with a different outlook to reverse this now.

Or a Congress that's rightly skeptical

Senate appropriators question F-15EX acquisition strategy
By Courtney Albon
September 12, 2019 at 1:44 PM
Senate appropriators want more details about the Air Force's F-15EX procurement plan, including its reasoning for pursuing a sole-source buy of Boeing-made jets. The Senate Appropriations Committee's fiscal year 2020 defense spending bill, which the committee approved today, would bar the Air Force from spending more than $37.2 million on long-lead materials until the service approves an F-15EX acquisition strategy and program baseline as well as a test and evaluation master plan, life-cycle sustainment plan, a post-production fielding strategy and...

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2019, 08:48
by weasel1962
Too much speculation. What is fact is that the 1st 2 F-15EX is approved in FY 2020 + 50% of non-recurring engineering spend. F-15EX would be delivered in 2022 (although Boeing keeps claiming they can deliver in 2020). Remaining 6 requires a report.

Actual legislation & report. ... nding-bill

The fiscal year 2020 President’s budget requests $1,050,000,000 for 8 F–15EX fighters, the first new fighter jet procured by the Air Force in more than a decade. While the Committee understands the Air Force’s need to maintain fighter capacity and mitigate problems associated with legacy F–15C/D aircraft that are approaching the end of their service life, the Committee continues to have questions about the sole-source acquisition strategy and program baseline for F–15EX. Further, the Committee understands that the first two aircraft will deliver in fiscal year 2022 and be used to integrate and test U.S-only communications and electronic warfare software and hardware. Accordingly, the Committee recommends transferring $364,400,000 from Aircraft Procurement, Air Force to Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Air Force for the procurement of two test aircraft and half of the requested amount for non-recurring engineering. The Committee understands that the last six aircraft are not scheduled to deliver until the end of fiscal year 2023. Further, the Committee was provided different rationale and justifications from Air Force leadership, the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, and the F–15 program office on the inclusion of F–15EX in the fiscal year 2020 President’s budget request. Therefore, the Committee directs that of the funds provided in Aircraft Procurement, Air Force for the remaining F–15EX aircraft, no more than $37,200,000 for long-lead materials may be obligated until the Secretary of the Air Force provides to the congressional defense committees a report detailing: a comprehensive review of options to address the Air Force fighter capacity shortfall; an approved program acquisition strategy; an acquisition program baseline; a test and evaluation master plan; a life-cycle sustainment plan; and a post-production fielding strategy.

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 18 Sep 2019, 02:20
by Corsair1963
Goldfein Forecasts B-1 Cuts, More B-21s
​—John A. Tirpak

The Air Force is considering reducing the B-1 bomber fleet and using the savings to pay for a range of bomber fleet improvements, including a speed-up in the pace of B-21 bomber buys, and more long-range weapons, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters Sept. 17, giving a limited peek ahead at the fiscal 2021 budget request. He said he could not “lean forward” with many details because the budget is not yet approved.

“Bomber aviation is in high demand” given the China threat, the long distances of operating over the Pacific, and the fact no other ally has a bomber fleet, Goldfein told reporters at a press conference for AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. There have been “a number of studies” that more bombers—particularly the new B-21—are needed, and Goldfein said “I’m 100 percent in lockstep with that.” Bottom line, Goldfein said, in bombers as well as other categories: “We need to grow.”

The B-1 fleet was hard used in the Middle East for the last 18 years; often the aircraft of choice in Afghanistan because it could loiter, carry a big payload, and quickly get “where we needed it to go” to come to the aid of troops in contact, Goldfein said.

But flying the B-1 in this way—slow, medium altitude, wings forward, instead of its design concept of fast, low-altitude penetration with wings swept back—has worn the B-1 fleet down, Goldfein said.

“We put stresses on the aircraft that we did not anticipate,” he said, and in depot, “we’re seeing significant structural issues with the B-1.” The Air Force leadership is reviewing whether it would be “cost prohibitive” to restore the existing fleet to “code one” status, meaning that it is ready to go and not hobbled by various technical issues.

Gen. Arnold Bunch, head of Air Force Materiel Command, later told reporters that a structural stress test of the B-1, which was started several years ago, was halted as various serious issues popped up requiring maintenance alerts to the fleet. That testing has resumed, Bunch said, but he couldn’t say when a final answer on the B-1’s likely service life might be available.

Goldfein said USAF leaders are exploring whether to retire some of the most stressed B-1s “and then flow that money into doing some key things within the bomber portfolio.” Those would include “long-range strategic precision weapons; B-52 re-engining—which not only keeps the B-52 viable, it also decreases our tanker requirement and can I buy B-21s faster,” Goldfein said.

While he doubted that the B-21 development program could be sped up, “I’m hoping we can accelerate in numbers,” meaning buy the bomber more rapidly than is now planned, to build mass more rapidly, Goldfein said. The Air Force has said the B-21 is slated to start entering series production in “the mid-2020s” and deliver through around 2032. If only 100 are bought, that would translate to a buy rate of about 10-15 per year, or about the same rate as the KC-46 tanker.

Global Strike Command chief Gen. Timothy Ray said Monday he believes a force of 225 bombers is the minimum needed to carry out the National Defense Strategy.

Goldfein said the B-21 is the best-performing program on the books.

“Of all the programs we’re tracking…the B-21, in terms of the performance of the contractor, is at the very top of the list in terms of what I’m seeing out of the production,” Goldfein said. Northrop Grumman is developing the B-21. ... ments.aspx

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 02 Oct 2019, 02:40
by Corsair1963
Thornberry Announces Retirement from the House

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the ranking Republican and former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, announced Sept. 30 that he will retire at the end of his current term in Congress.

Thornberry, who has represented the 13th District in the Texas Panhandle since 1995, was instrumental in raising the defense budget during the first two years of the Trump Administration, pushing for increased readiness spending and on research and development of cutting-edge systems such as hypersonic missiles. He presided over the first base defense budget to top $700 billion, winning support in part by blaming high-profile military accidents on deficient readiness spending and inconsistent funding of the Pentagon. Thornberry also voted for the 2011 Budget Control Act that created the sequester threat.

He became chairman in 2015, succeeding Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.). In the position, he pressed for reforms of the Pentagon’s acquisition system, which he saw as too unwieldy to keep up with modern technology. He championed Section 804 reforms that authorized the Defense Department to skip steps deemed non-value-added in Pentagon acquisition.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) took over as HASC chairman in 2018 when the Democrats took control of the House. As ranking member, Thornberry has opposed defense spending reductions, particularly in readiness accounts.

Thornberry is likely to continue to play a central role in negotiations over the fiscal 2021 defense budget, if Republican GOP leadership doesn’t re-assign his seat on the committee.

He did not give a specific reason for not seeking re-election.

“I believe the time has come for a change,” he said in a statement, in which he also thanked voters for their support.

Thornberry’s district is not considered competitive, and his seat is almost certain to be won by another Republican.

He joins three other Republicans on the HASC who have said they will retire from the House: Reps. Rob Bishop of Utah, Mike Conaway of Texas, and Paul Mitchell of Michigan.

Because of term limits, Thornberry could not have returned as HASC chairman even if the Republicans won the House majority in 2020.

Thornberry’s retirement could elevate Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to the ranking member or chairman spot. Wilson represents the 2nd District in South Carolina, which encompasses Fort Jackson and is near Shaw AFB in Sumter. Shaw is the home of 9th Air Force and many airmen assigned to the base live in Wilson’s district. He is the ranking member of the HASC subcommittee on readiness, and serves on the subcommittees for strategic forces and emerging threats and capabilities. ... House.aspx

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2019, 21:06
by spazsinbad
Defense policy deal creates Space Force, sidesteps border wall controversy
10 Dec 2019 Joe Gould

"WASHINGTON ― Lawmakers involved in annual defense authorization negotiations finalized a sweeping deal late Monday that creates a new Space Force among other policies, but it dropped contentious border wall restrictions and several other provisions favored by progressives.

The 3,488-page compromise bill, which supports $738 billion in defense spending for 2020, left out limits on the border wall, low-yield nuclear weapons and the president’s authorization to wage war on Iran. However, Democratic leaders did win ― in exchange for the Space Force ― an agreement for 12 weeks of paid parental leave to millions of federal workers, which could give some House Democrats otherwise opposed to the large defense bill a reason to vote for it.

The agreement caps months of negotiations made unusually complex because Democrats control the House and Republicans the Senate. The House is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday, as Congress has only a few days to pass the bill before the House’s Christmas recess begins Thursday afternoon. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law....

...The National Defense Authorization Act would authorize 12 more Lockheed F-35 fighter jets for the U.S. military than the administration requested, for a total of $1 billion. It would authorize $440 million to build fighter aircraft that Turkey was to buy before it was removed from the F-35 program for purchasing the Russian S-400 air defense system.

In some of the other hardware, the legislation would also provide the Air Force with eight new Boeing F-15EX fighters and the Navy with three Arleigh Burke destroyers, a new frigate, two more amphibious warships and three unmanned surface vessels....

...The agreement would mostly ban the use of toxic firefighting foam tied to base groundwater contamination nationwide, but the bill didn’t go as far as Democratic leaders sought. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House would hold a vote in January on broader restrictions on the chemicals, known as “PFAS,” a move which may deflect some Democratic frustrations with the defense bill...."

Source: ... ntroversy/

House, Senate Defense Bill Signs Off on New Shipbuilding Programs, Restricts Others
10 Dec 2019 Ben Werner

"...The FY 2020 NDAA inserts congressional cost controls over the construction of the next two Ford-class carriers, the future Enterprise (CVN-80) and the unmanned CVN-81, which will be bought together in a two-carrier contract signed late last year. Congress wants “to ensure cost visibility associated with the anticipated $4 billion two-carrier cost savings” the Navy says the combined purchase will generate.

The Navy is required to make upgrades to John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), which was christened on Saturday. Congress wants the Navy to ensure Kennedy and all follow-on Ford-class carriers are “capable of operating and deploying with the F–35C aircraft” before completing their post-shakedown availability.

Kennedy was built without some of the necessary upgrades needed to deploy with F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The Navy’s plan was to upgrade Kennedy, Ford and Nimitz-class carriers on a rolling basis....

The Navy is required to produce an analysis justifying its goal of operating with a 50/50 mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft by 2030. The FY 2020 NDAA supports the Navy’s budget request for 10 F-35B fighters and 20 F-35C fighters. The FY 2020 NDAA also supports the Navy’s request for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets...."

Source: ... cts-others

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2019, 21:24
by spazsinbad
Congressional Authorizers Endorse F-15EX Buy, With Caveats
10 Dec 2019 Rachel S. Cohen

"Lawmakers backed the Air Force’s plan to begin buying the F-15EX fighter jet from Boeing but want to restrict funding until the service provides more information about the model.

The service wants the Strike Eagle variant to replace older F-15Cs that are running out of flight time, and says the fourth-generation jet would complement newer models like the F-35. The Pentagon’s cost and program evaluation office floated, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis endorsed, the idea of adding the EX variant to the Air Force’s inventory.

Opponents argue the service should funnel that money into the F-35 program instead, and lawmakers raised concerns about the lack of information provided when the Air Force asked for the jets in its most recent budget request.… [then some lahdedah]

...The Air Force requested an eight-jet buy for nearly $1.1 billion, but congressional authorizers pulled $64.5 million they didn’t feel was needed for certain engineering work, instead offering $985.5 million for eight aircraft.

However, the Air Force can’t use that 2020 money for anything other than two prototype jets until 15 days after Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett sends Congress a report on the F-15EX program. She must outline the program’s acquisition, logistics, and fielding strategies, the cost and schedule for buying the jets, and how the service will test them. USAF can use the remaining money to research, develop, and buy parts for the six other fighters in the eight-piece purchase.

Air Force Magazine previously reported the F-15EX could carry “outsize” munitions like hypersonic missiles, and could serve as a possible standoff weapons magazine alongside other platforms. Work on the F-15EX can’t proceed until a fiscal 2020 spending bill is signed into law."

Source: ... h-caveats/

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2019, 21:31
by spazsinbad
Get USS Kennedy Ready For F-35Cs, Congress Orders Navy
10 Dec 2019 Paul McLeary

"WASHINGTON: Congress is continuing to push the Navy hard on its Ford-class aircraft carrier effort, demanding major changes to an $11 billion ship christened just last weekend. The 2020 NDAA calls for the Navy to make changes to allow the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) to carry F-35 fighter planes before her first deployment — something the Navy has neither the money or time to do under current building schedules and budget lines.

The Navy never planned for its first two Ford carriers to carry F-35s because of delays in the aircraft’s planning and construction. The service couldn’t wait for all of the F-35s requirements to shake out before bending steel on its first two Ford carriers, so it went ahead with plans to add the capability later. But Congress thinks that’s not good enough. The new NDAA released Monday night “requires the Navy to insert the Joint Strike Fighter ship alterations on the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) before her first deployment,” in the mid-2020s, a requirement that either requires tens of millions in extra funding, or some other program to lose out.

It’s not clear how the requirement will shake out once the appropriations committees take a whack at the budget, but such changes won’t come cheap. The 36-year old USS Carl Vinson is currently undergoing a $34 million refit in Bremerton Wash. in order to begin flying F-35s by 2021, making the veteran ship the first carrier in the Navy to fly the 5th generation aircraft.

Navy officials recently explained that while both Nimitz and Ford-class aircraft carriers can operate with F-35Cs aboard, there are significant modifications required to be made to both carrier classes in order to push and fuse all the data the F-35s can generate, along with building additional classified spaces, new jet blast deflectors, and other upgrades to take advantage of the plane’s capabilities…."

Source: ... ders-navy/

Re: FY2020 DoD Budget

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2019, 21:54
by usnvo
Until the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill is passed, the rest is pretty meaningless.