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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