Facing Congress, US Air Force calls for more 15-EX, but no F35A

In the USA, the annual defense budget is admittedly proposed by the administration in place, but it is above all decided and broken down by Congress, and not the executive. In fact, once the Pentagon budget is presented by the White House, it is customary for the US military to publish a list of requests for additional funding not included in the budget proposal, in order to encourage American parliamentarians to strike. inch more or less supported in certain areas. This year will not have deviated from the rule, since the'US Army has requested additional funding of $ 5,5 billion, relating in particular to certain specific equipment, such as the 5 CH-47F Block 2 helicopters that the US Army hopes to see funded by Congress, since it is this same Congress that had funded the start of production of this version. last year precisely in this way. The US Navy, for its part, requests funding for a second destroyer A. Burke Flight III, as well as 4 F35Cs and 4 CMV-22Bs, all representing nearly $ 2,5 billion in additional credits for these elements alone.

This “Annual Unfunded Priorities List” had become, since 2012, the lever arm of the US Air Force to claim more F35A than the 48 which were traditionally allocated to it, and Congress had always responded favorably to this request, bringing the global control of 60 devices. In fact, once again this year, everyone expected to see the demand for 12 F35A appear at the top of the Air Force list, even in spite of the recent pullbacks observed on the part of General Brown, its Chief of Staff. 'General Staff, on this subject. However, to everyone's surprise, no additional F35A in the list. Worst, it is the F15-EX which appears in first position, with a request of $ 1,4 billion to finance the acquisition of 12 additional aircraft, or 24 Eagle II in total for 2022, as well as other requests relating to the aircraft, including 24 compliant tank kits to expand autonomy.

The USAF is requesting funding for 12 additional F15-EXs beyond the 12 already included in the Pentagon's 2022 budget proposal, but no additional F35A in addition to the 48 already planned.

According to the American General Staff, this request corresponds to the need to replace as quickly as possible the 48 F15 C / D which will be withdrawn from service this year due to excessive wear. On the other hand, there is no reference to a pressing need to replace the thirty or so F35 from blocks 0.5 and I which it announced the early withdrawal. The F35A does appear in the list of additional financing, but only for $ 360 million in order to improve the maintenance and availability of the aircraft, in particular by ordering around twenty additional F135 turbojets, while we know that the production of this engine and its lifespan are of major concern to American planners today.


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