WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th March, 2022) The Biden administration is seeking $56.5 billion in its fiscal year 2023 budget proposal to boost the effectiveness and life cycles of existing US Air Force combat aircraft, including unmanned aerial systems (UASs), the Department of Defense announced.
The funding, if approved by Congress will go primarily towards purchasing more F-15X Eagle and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, as well B-21 bombers, mobility aircraft for heavy airlifts, KC46A long-range refueling aircraft, specialized support aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the budget proposal said.
The US Navy has requested $16.8 billion in the budget proposal, made public on Monday, to buy an additional 13 F-35Cs - nine for the Navy and four for the Marine Corps as well as 15 F-35B short take-off and vertical landing aircraft, the proposal said.
The request for F-35Cs or Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) is a cut of seven aircraft from the Navy's earlier proposal of seeking 20 more of the aircraft in the 2023 budget, Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Rear Admiral John Gumbleton acknowledged to reporters at a Pentagon press conference.
"The fact that we did come down in our JSF request was more about balance than anything else... I think we would have liked to have had more JSF, but that's the balance that we can yield," he said.
The budget review focused on general readiness issues as a priority over the number of new F-35s being requested, Gumbleton said.