Military Capabilities

Pentagon budget 2019: US Army procurement shifts from aviation to artillery, combat vehicles

13 February 2018

US Army aircraft procurement funding, once the largest account for the service, has now dipped below its account for weapons and tracked combat vehicles (WTCV) as the army focuses on rebuilding some its the heavy forces.

The aviation procurement account began dropping in fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017), with USD4.9 billion appropriated that year, then USD4.2 billion was requested in FY 2018, and now USD3.8 billion has been requested for FY 2019.

Aviation had been a significant cost driver for procurement, but is now declining as munitions and combat vehicles take a greater share.

For counter-insurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the army organised and equipped itself mainly as a light aviation-centric force, and it took risks in equipping its heavy forces such as armoured brigade combat teams (ABCTs), Davis Welch, deputy director for army budget, told reporters during 13 February roundtable at the Pentagon.

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