The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday released its version of the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, calling for an increase in spending over both President Trump's request and the House Armed Services version. Stock photo
The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the Fiscal 2019 National
Defense Authorization Act, released
by the committee late Thursday,
would provide for $715.9 billion in spending, according to a summary
produced by the committee.
The total includes $617.6 billion in discretionary Defense Department
spending, $68.5 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations, and $8.2 billion
for defense activities outside the proposal’s purview. It would also include
$21.6 billion for Energy Department activities.
That total compares with $717 billion provided for in the
House version of the bill, which passed that chamber Thursday.
The Senate committee’s bill emphasizes modernization for a
“combat-credible joint force,” the summary states.
”In the new era of great power competition, our warfighters
must be prepared to fight and win in contested environments against peer
competitors,“ the committee said.
Key provisions include language that would authorize $7.6
billion for 75 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, two fewer than the Trump Administration requested.
The bill includes $4.2 billion for 47 F-35As, $2.4 billion
for 20 F-35Bs, and $1 billion for eight F-35Cs. It increases funding for F-35
spare parts, modifications, and repair capabilities to "establish a solid sustainment base before the steep ramp of production
overwhelms the enterprise's ability to sustain the aircraft," the summary states. It also fully
funds Block 4 continuous capability development and delivery, and requires that
Congress be informed every quarter on the status of the F-35 program.
The bill would bar retirement of any E-8C Joint STARS aircraft while also increasing funding for the Advanced Battle Management System, which is the
JSTARS replacement program.
The bill would also authorize $2.3 billion for 14 KC-46
tankers, one fewer than the administration has requested, and $350 million for
Air Force light attack aircraft and long lead material.
The proposal would also fund development of the B-21 bomber at an undisclosed cost,
and provide for multiyear procurement for the C-130J program. On A-10 wing
replacement, the bill would authorize $144.2 million, $65 million more than the
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