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Pentagon Budget 2019: US Navy requests 29 F-35s

13 February 2018

Key Points

  • The US Navy is requesting 29 total F-35s for both itself and the Marine Corps
  • The F-35 is the Pentagon’s largest programme by spending

The US Navy (USN) is requesting 29 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) in fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) – 20 of the Marine Corps’ B-model short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant and nine of the navy’s F-35C aircraft carrier model.

The Pentagon on 12 February released its FY 2019 budget request. The US military is operating under FY 2017 spending levels as Congress has not enacted full year FY 2018 spending and, instead, has passed a series of continuing resolutions (CRs) that keep the government operating at FY 2017 budget levels.

The US Navy requested 20 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps in FY 2019. (Lockheed Martin)The US Navy requested 20 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps in FY 2019. (Lockheed Martin)

The navy is requesting roughly USD19 billion in FY 2019, including overseas contingency operations (OCO) funds, to buy 120 aircraft: 107 combat aircraft, two airlifters, and 11 other types of aircraft.

The USN is requesting 24 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters in FY 2019, 10 more than the service requested in FY 2019. The navy said in its budget overview book that its strike fighter inventory management (SFIM) strategy remains challenged with Super Hornet aircraft that reach the end of their service lives before sufficient F-35 aircraft can be delivered into service.

The USN also wants 10 Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, three more than requested in FY 2018. The service said its topline increase aligns the warfighter requirement to the program of record, which is 117 total aircraft to complete in FY 2020.

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