F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 30, 2017. Pentagon officials announced April 14, 2017, that the Air Force is deploying a small number of F-35A fighters to Europe for training. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)
Defense News: Air Force’s $10.7 billion wish list includes more F-35As, KC-46s
MELBOURNE, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force may have prioritized growing research and development in its fiscal 2018 budget request, but its unfunded wish list is all about buying more aircraft — namely more F-35s and KC-46s.
Of the service’s $10.7 billion unfunded priorities list submitted to Capitol Hill on May 31, $6.7 billion would go toward modernization and readiness needs, according to documents obtained by Defense News. The list is usually used by members of Congress to determine where to increase funding, often resulting in increased procurement of high-value items such as aircraft, ground vehicles and ships.
Fourteen F-35A joint strike fighters top the modernization and readiness portion of the list, ranking as the fourth biggest unfunded priority for the Air Force overall. If those aircraft are funded by Congress for an additional $1.76 billion, the Air Force will have met its target buy rate of 60 aircraft for the first time. Its current budget request includes only 46 aircraft in FY18.
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WNU Editor: Even if the U.S. Air Force get what they want on their wish list, this problem will still not be solved .... Trump's 2018 budget will try to fix the Air Force's ongoing pilot problems (Business Insider).