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Pentagon budget 2021: US Coast Guard requests 70% cut in aircraft procurement spending

13 February 2020
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The US Coast Guard requested USD64 million in FY 2021 for Leonardo HC-27J Spartan twin-turboprop transport conversion and sustainment. Source: US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard (USCG) is requesting USD153.6 million in fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) for procurement, recapitalisation, and sustainment of its fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, 70% less than the USD504.6 million it was provided in FY 2020.

The guard's largest aircraft request is USD64 million for Leonardo HC-27J Spartan twin-turboprop transport conversion and sustainment, according to budget documents released on 10 February. This would be down from the USD103.2 million provided in FY 2020.

This money would support logistics requirements, regeneration, and missionisation for 14 newly acquired aircraft. The programme regenerated 14 aircraft and is completing missionisation with the USCG variant of the US Navy (USN) Minotaur mission system.

The USCG's second largest request is USD45 million for Airbus Helicopters MH-65 Dolphin light utility helicopter conversion and sustainment. This would be down USD5 million from the USD50 million allocated in FY 2020. The request would support full rate production (FRP) for DS6 automatic flight control system (AFCS)/avionics upgrades and DS8 service life extension programme (SLEP) for the platform. The USCG wants to complete DS6 and DS8 production for 22 aircraft.

The USCG's largest spending cut by percentage would be for the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for the National Security Cutter programme. The guard is requesting USD600,000 in FY 2021, this would be down 94% from the USD9.4 million provided in FY 2020.

The USCG had acquired Insitu ScanEagle endurance mini-UAS for this programme. The guard, in FY 2021, would spend its request on installing the system on NSC #9. The USCG in FY 2020 plans to complete the installation of the aircraft for the NSC fleet and complete initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E).

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