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Pentagon budget 2025: US Navy continues F-35 investments, but rephases F/A-XX

The US Navy's FY 2025 budget request continues to fund F-35 aircraft. (US Marine Corps)

The fiscal year (FY) 2025 US Navy (USN) budget requests include USD16.2 billion for the procurement of 75 aircraft, modifications, spares, and support equipment, including 13 F-35Cs, 13 F-35Bs, and 15 CH-53Ks, according to budget documents released on 11 March.

However, the FY 2025 request represents a slight financial retreat for the USN, which requested USD17.3 billion in FY 2024 for 88 aircraft, including 19 F-35Cs and 16 F-35Bs.

In addition, the USN now plans to rephase the development of F/A-XX across the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP), budget documents show.

β€œWe're still committed to the F/A-XX,” Rear Admiral Ben Reynolds, deputy assistant secretary of the navy for budget and director of the USN Fiscal Management Division, said during an 8 March media briefing of the proposed budget.

β€œWe're rephasing as the technology matures,” he said.

The USN plans to buy 82 F-35Cs and 82 F-35Bs across the FYDP, the budget documents show.

The procurements are balanced over the FYDP by the USN and US Marine Corps to ensure continued development of Block 4 capabilities to support initial fleet availability, according to budget documents.

The multi-engine training system (METS) request for 27 aircraft in FY 2025 reflects last year's procurement. METS modernises multi-engine aircraft training for accession into multiple platforms.

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