Panetta Announces Fiscal 2013 Budget Priorities

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spazsinbad

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Unread post27 Jan 2012, 03:05

Panetta Announces Fiscal 2013 Budget Priorities By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66940

"WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2012 – Spending priorities in the forthcoming fiscal 2013 defense budget request call for reductions in the end strength of the Army and Marine Corps, an increase in special operations forces and maintaining the number of big-deck carriers, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here today....

...The Navy will retire seven older cruisers and two amphibious ships early, and the Air Force will eliminate six tactical air squadrons....

...The F-35 joint strike fighter is key to maintaining domain superiority, and the military remains committed to the program, Panetta said. “But in this budget, we have slowed procurement to complete more testing and allow for developmental changes before buying in significant quantities,” he added...."
____________________

SecDef: Smaller military will be ‘cutting edge’ By Kate Brannen | Jan 26, 2012

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/01/d ... e-012612w/

"...DoD’s plans revealed no sacrificial lambs: all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are safe; the Navy will maintain 11 aircraft carriers; and the Army’s major vehicle programs are intact....

...These reductions in force size do require a corresponding reduction in the military’s facilities resources.

Therefore, the president will request that Congress authorize use of the Base Realignment and Closure process with a goal of identifying savings “that can be reinvested in higher priorities as soon as possible.”

“The best approach to reducing that infrastructure politically on Capitol Hill is to work it through the BRAC process,” Panetta said.

The Pentagon did not tie any savings to potential base closures, because those require congressional authorization.

“If we tied savings to it before Congress authorized it, and they didn’t authorize it, it would undermine our whole budget,” Panetta said.

As for overseas basing, the Pentagon says the Army and Marine Corps will sustain force structure in the Pacific, while “maintaining persistent presence” in the Middle East....

...With the Defense Department shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, the Air Force will maintain the current strategic bomber fleet and will also fund a new bomber program, according to the document....

...The Navy and Marines will also retain their air-power assets, with the sea services retaining all 11 aircraft carriers, 10 carrier air wings, and all of the amphibious assault ships.

All three F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants are safe, but the Pentagon has decided to slow down procurement to allow for more testing.

Panetta said the Air Force would also continue with its plans to purchase next generation KC-46 tanker aircraft.

DoD will also invest in new air-to-air missiles, new radars for tactical aircraft and ships, more electronic warfare and communications capabilities.

The Navy will build a new “prompt strike option” from submarines and will add cruise missile capacity to its Virginia-class boats.

The Air Force will lose six tactical fighter squadrons and a training squadron, while the Navy loses seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, one of which has missile defense capability, but which needs a lot of repairs, the budget document says.

One big-deck amphibious ship and a submarine will be delayed. Two smaller amphibious dock landing ships will be decommissioned and their replacements delayed....

...The Air Force is losing the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk, but other variants, namely the Navy’s RQ-4N and Air Force’s Block 40, are safe.

Carter explained that the Block 30 version was supposed to replace Lockheed Martin’s U-2 spy plane but it priced itself out of the niche for taking pictures in the air, Carter said.

“That’s a disappointment for us, but that’s the fate of things that become too expensive in a resource-constrained environment,” he added.

Air mobility takes a hit with 27 C-5A Galaxy airlifters being retired along with 65 older C-130s. The entire C-27 fleet of 38 cargo aircraft is also being scrapped by the Air Force.

However, there will also be investment in advance unmanned aircraft, and the Air Force will gain the capability to operate 65 Predator/Reaper patrols and surge to 85 when needed. Today, the Air Force can fly 61 orbits continuously....

...kept in the budget to find a lower cost alternative...."

A lot more at the URL above.
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
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Unread post27 Jan 2012, 03:25

Lockheed says order backlog to cushion tough 2012 Reuters 26 Jan 2012
Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa, Editing by Mark Potter, John Wallace, Phil Berlowitz

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/3-lock ... 57435.html

"...NO CHANGE SEEN IN 2012 GUIDANCE
Lockheed Chief Financial Officer Bruce Tanner told reporters that he did not expect to change guidance for 2012 since any Pentagon changes, including cuts to F-35 production plans, would take effect in 2013 and later.

Stevens said the F-35 program was making progress, but the company recognized there was more work to do.

Panetta underscored the importance of the F-35 fighter and said the Defense Department remained committed to the "program of record," which calls for a total U.S. buy of 2,443 jets.

Reuters has quoted sources familiar with Pentagon budget plans as saying that funding for 179 of 423 planned fighter jets will be cut from the next five-year spending plan and shifted to a later point. Panetta gave no details.

The new plan calls for the Pentagon to buy 29 F-35 fighters in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, 44 in 2015, 66 in 2016 and 76 in 2017, according to sources familiar with the budget plan.

Stevens said he still expected the F-35 to account for 20 percent of Lockheed revenue when it reaches full production.

International partners are expected to order a combined 257 F-35 fighters from fiscal 2013 through 2017, with other countries like Japan (EUREX: FMJP.EX - news) and Israel set to buy about 30 fighters.

"We think the demand will remain robust in total," Stevens said, adding that the company was keeping a close eye on how many U.S. and international jets were ordered -- and when...."
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
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Unread post27 Jan 2012, 04:56

Ya know, we could save tons more if we applied a major reduction-in-force and BRAC style consolidations to the insatiable behemoth that is the federal government at large. Military spending is small potatoes by comparison. Just sayin'...
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Unread post27 Jan 2012, 05:02

IS not this what is perhaps going to happen if your Congress can ever agree on anything? From second story in first entry above:

"...These reductions in force size do require a corresponding reduction in the military’s facilities resources.

Therefore, the president will request that Congress authorize use of the Base Realignment and Closure process with a goal of identifying savings “that can be reinvested in higher priorities as soon as possible.”

“The best approach to reducing that infrastructure politically on Capitol Hill is to work it through the BRAC process,” Panetta said.

The Pentagon did not tie any savings to potential base closures, because those require congressional authorization.

“If we tied savings to it before Congress authorized it, and they didn’t authorize it, it would undermine our whole budget,” Panetta said...."
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
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Unread post27 Jan 2012, 13:14

Spaz, I wasn't talking about cutting troops and bases in order to pay for weapons. I was talking about reducing our now vast, intrusive and stifling federal bureaucracy and the ever expanding entitlement programs with which it buys votes to keep itself in power. They are bankrupting the USA.
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Unread post27 Jan 2012, 17:10

You got that right stereospace. If your politico says they support defence, but isn't talkinig about cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid then they are blowing smoke. Those are the only cuts that can move the bottom line. Except adding new taxes, that can move the bottom line too.
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Unread post27 Jan 2012, 17:52

Gen Fogleman, previous CSAF, had some great op-eds about how to handle this. http://r.listpilot.net/c/afa/6v91omu/2xj00 and http://r.listpilot.net/c/afa/6v91omu/2xiz1
Check Six!
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Unread post28 Jan 2012, 06:59

do you guys think this will increase the chance of the viper enhancements for 50's and some 40's? or just kill that program as well?
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Unread post28 Jan 2012, 16:50

deadseal wrote:do you guys think this will increase the chance of the viper enhancements for 50's and some 40's? or just kill that program as well?


The USAF is losing several squadrons of tactical aircraft, and some older C-5s. They will save the cost of converting the -A to -Ms, so it makes sense that the USAF would retire older, high hour F-16s (and F-15s,) saving the cost of SLEPs. But since the F-35 is going to be even later - I've read speculation of IOC dates in the 2020 range - the USAF cannot afford to not upgrade its legacy fleet.
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Unread post06 Feb 2012, 19:53

Mostly it's just the predictable details of what happens when you have to shrink the armed services in general: fewer troops, fewer amphibious assault ships, fewer cruisers, fewer cargo planes, fewer tactical planes, no big shock there. The amphibious assault ships might be interesting if they'd been cut on their own because their function is more offense than defense, but they're not the only thing being cut here. But the shrinkage isn't even, and anything that doesn't get cut ends up increased in a proportional sense, relative to the other stuff being cut around it. Just a few bits that stood out to me:

maintaining the number of big-deck carriers
I thought these might get cut, and they shouldn't, so this is not a bad start. They're the most important ships in our Navy for striking targets on the land from the air, which is the main thing our military forces have been used for lately and will be for the foreseeable future, and they're also very important against foreign naval threats (although you could say they're second to the missile/gun ships there). There are some ships we could cut from the Navy without reducing our abilities much, but these aren't the ones.

Increasing the number of special operations forces is key to the plan
This just makes me wonder what they mean. There's no s[ecific entity described by the phrase "special operations forces", and the category includes units that are rather different from each other, so there's no telling what's being increased here. This quote was followed by one about the special forces returning to their traditional role as instructors to foreign armed forces, but that ISN'T their traditional role, so that whole thing makes no sense and has to be discarded as uninformative.

After a decade of being an integral part of America’s wars, the reserve components will not go back to being a strategic Cold War-era reserve. The reserves will be the nation’s hedge against the unexpected, the secretary said.
How is that different from before?

base realignments and closures... The budget will eliminate two forward-based Army heavy brigades in Europe.
Nifty. There wasn't much of a point left for those anymore and I've been wondering why we had them for a while anyway.

...will base littoral combat ships in Singapore and Bahrain.
So they still aren't getting rid of the silly LCS. Oh well. That could have saved us some money without making any real difference in overall power/effectiveness. But at least they didn't mention getting even MORE of them.

The United States and European allies also will look to share costs for new capabilities
How does that work and how is it different from before? We already buy each other's equipment, which contributes to each other's research & development costs anyway. Currently, the USA does a disproportionate amount of the developing and the investing; does this new plan involve making it more even, and if so, how? I doubt we can get other countries to start doing more than they have been, so this sounds like reducing the USA's level to be more even with others. (And this is an item that Obama will reject anyway, if he sticks to his word of a couple of years ago, when he said he would end all development of any new weapon systems.)

The budget sinks more money into technologies to prevail in an anti-access, aerial-denial scenario...
Like the one about the special forces, this bit is just too vague.

...will fund the next-generation bomber...
This is a mistake, but it's one that I'm sure will be corrected by Congress before it goes too far. Every new armed airplane gets more expensive and dragged through longer delays than the one before, to which the politicians can be counted on to respond by making it worse or just cancelling the thing completely, because high-tech weapon-planes make big fat targets for politicians. And the cost is also worse for bombers than for any other type anyway, so that alone would make the costs higher and the calls to kill it louder and more persistent and widespread than the already have been for F-22 and F-35, even if the trend generally weren't for it to get worse with each new plane over time anyway. With budgets only getting tighter for years to come, unless the process that's allowed it to get this way is severely reorganized, a new bomber simply has no chance. Even if projected schedules & costs don't cause them to kill it before any are built at all, the first few planes to be built will spend decades in Testing Hell sucking up trillions of dollars, and then the program will be killed for that.

And on top of that, not only do I predict it will happen, but I say it's what should happen. Maybe all that trouble with developing new planes can be worth it if the plane is revolutionary enough, with a big enough difference from its predecessors, like F-22/F-35, but the requirements and proposals for the next new bomber aren't much different from B-2 anyway, and the politicians are bound to notice that as well. The solution, when the time comes to build new bombers, is going to be to build a new upgraded version of B-2, thus bypassing a lot of the process that's involved in a totally new plane. We can give them the newest sensors and skin and optional remote/auto-pilot and such without needing a totally new plane to put them on/in. I think Panetta is succumbing to cool-new-gadget syndrome on this one.

The F-35... “we have slowed procurement to complete more testing and allow for developmental changes before buying in significant quantities,”
Big dumb mistake, but probably one that won't be fixed like the above. Delaying and reducing funding for a high-tech airplane only makes the delays and costs worse. If you think the problem is that there's too much testing & development still left to be done, the way to fix that is to make more of them to use for more of that work to be done with them. And with this particular program, screwing around with it like this not only has a negative effect on the effectiveness of our own forces, but also does the same to our foreign allies who are waiting for these things! That makes US a more unreliable ally to them. And on top of that, taking a bite out of the F-35 program is contradictory to one of the other decisions in this budget proposal: maintaining the aircraft carrier fleet (which means making them proportionally more of our overall navy as other parts get cut) while delaying the arrival of the planes the carriers need to carry.

* * *

Overall, although articles about Obama's announcement that were written before this budget came out said this budget is based on a shift in strategy, particularly with an emphasis on China, I don't see it. I just see general cutting, uneven but not in a way that shows that kind of pattern. For example, if China gets aggressive, it's more likely to do so on land than on the water, but the budget calls for a reduction in just about everything of ours on the ground (except special forces, which can't handle large-scale stuff on their own). It does seem to hold current levels for aircraft that are currently in service to support ground forces from the air, but against an army as huge as China's, we'd need to be increasing that, not just holding it steady. And this budget, as I mentiond above, is actually delaying (and can thus be expected to eventually reduce) our next planned big improvement in air-to-ground ability, the F-35. So we're looking at maintaining the ability to hold a hard line against China at sea, but going even farther than we already were down the path of simply leaving Asia alone to deal with China themselves on the land. In a military sense, it makes sense, because China's strength is on land not at sea, but it's a very mixed message in the political/diplomatic sense.

The only pattern I do see in these budget changes, strategy-wise, is more of the same general progression that we've seen since at least the early 1990s: it designs our military forces for relatively small (compared to China) actions done largely by aircraft and cruise missiles, with as little involvement of our troops on the ground as possible. Despite what Obama announced before Panetta's budget was released, there's no new strategy there, just a continuation of established trends.
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Unread post07 Feb 2012, 00:16

delvo wrote:
The F-35... “we have slowed procurement to complete more testing and allow for developmental changes before buying in significant quantities,”
Big dumb mistake, but probably one that won't be fixed like the above. Delaying and reducing funding for a high-tech airplane only makes the delays and costs worse. If you think the problem is that there's too much testing & development still left to be done, the way to fix that is to make more of them to use for more of that work to be done with them. And with this particular program, screwing around with it like this not only has a negative effect on the effectiveness of our own forces, but also does the same to our foreign allies who are waiting for these things! That makes US a more unreliable ally to them. And on top of that, taking a bite out of the F-35 program is contradictory to one of the other decisions in this budget proposal: maintaining the aircraft carrier fleet (which means making them proportionally more of our overall navy as other parts get cut) while delaying the arrival of the planes the carriers need to carry.



I think its important to distinguish what they mean by slowing their purchases. This is basically LRIP cutbacks, rather than slowing the rate of FRP, which I agree would be a major mistake for the program. However building more concurrency aircraft at this point probably won't help the aircraft too much, given what the Ahern report suggested are critical issues facing the project. with the manufacturing design at its current immature state and aspects of the design continuing to mature, ramping up the production rates is probably not the best idea... and probably won't be until lot 8 or 9 (when major structural testing related to flight are completed.)

Over the long run high LRIP rates won't decrease the overall costs, if they decide to maintain FRP at the levels previously announced and reach a production scale over 1000 airframes.

I'd like to discuss your other points about the "pivot" or strategic rebalancing further, but I'm short for time so maybe next time.
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Unread post07 Feb 2012, 04:32

Sheesh, I hate BRAC in every way, shape, and form. Still don't think it should have much (any) sway over ANG units.

My personal USAF priorities, note the contrast with the abstract 'anti-anti-access' garbage we're getting:
1. Upgrade legacy aircraft. This should be a no-brainer.
2. Next-gen tactical aircraft. F-35 or otherwise, get the thing to squadrons in large numbers by 2020 or we have a problem :nono:
3. Raptors. Fix the life support systems and get -9X integrated along with JASSM.
4. NGB. Super-Beak or killer 747, either approach has its merits.
5. ISR. Tactical recon will become very useful once folks up top realize that satellites can be avoided easily, drones are vulnerable, and the RF-4 was fast as hell. Think RF-4X and you know exactly what I'm getting at.
6.Fix the toilets on BUFFs. They shouldn't explode in-flight, that's just terrible. :lol: :lol:
????
99. Drones. Leave it to DARPA and Boeing until the technology is mature, and proceed with a wise mixture of caution and sanity.

*JDRADM and SDB II are somewhere in there, I'm just too tired to figger out where :P :P
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Unread post07 Feb 2012, 04:55

Just the calm before the storm.The big question is really the mandatory $600 Billion in additional cuts that will kick in at the start of 2013 if Congress can't reach some sort of compromise on Sequestration.. That's going to be traumatic to say the least. Complicating things is it will all coincide with the presidential elections.

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