By By Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor | March 3, 2011
The key themes outlined in the Financial Year 2011 U.S. Defense Budget hold no major surprises in their focus:
• Taking Care of People
• Rebalancing Military
• Current Wars
• Current/Future Conflicts
• Reforming What and How We Buy
• Supporting Our Troops in the Field
The presumed spend of U.S. GDP in 2011 is expected to be 4.7 percent (assuming the GDP projections reflected in the President’s FY 2011 Budget Request, February 2010). This is the same as in 2010 but 0.2 percent higher than 2009. Pre-9/11 the budget consumed only 2.9 percent of GDP, which reflects how much the budget has increased to provide funds to fight the recent conflicts in Iraq and now Afghanistan, as well as giving an indication of how much this takes out of the rest of the U.S. economy.
Under rebalancing for current wars, there is a reflection of the realization of the value that rotary wing brings to the battlefield. Army air crew training is set to increase by 9 percent and the existing plan to ease the current strain on the existing Combat Aviation Brigades (CABs) is being backed by the confirmation that an additional two CABs will be added by 2014.
A total of $112.9 billion has been allocated to the FY 2011 budget which is a 7.7 percent rise over the $104.8 billion in 2010. This funds additional Army UH-60s, CH-47s and AH-64s, as well as 35 more V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.
The summary of the FY11 budget proposal explains the 60,000-foot view: “The FY 2010 enacted budget included additional funds to boost Army helicopter pilot training capacity and improve survivability. The FY 2011 request sustains the FY 2010 increase and seeks an additional $65 million to train 1,500 new pilots per year by FY 2012.”
The FY 2011 request “also sustains new acquisition and modernization of helicopters—such as the CH-47, UH-60, LUH, H-1, and V-22 aircraft—with more than $9.6 billion. The FY 2011 investment request is more than $500 million, or about 6 percent above the level provided for in the FY 2010 enacted budget.
V-22 Osprey: Supports the procurement of 30 MV-22 and 5 CV-22 aircraft. The procurement objective is 458 aircraft (408 MV-22s for the Navy/Marine Corps and 50 CV-22s for USSOCOM). The program is being executed under a multiyear procurement contract, which began in FY 2008.
AH-64 Longbow Apache Block 3: Supports the remanufacture of eight AH-64s to the AH-64 D (Longbow) Block 3 configuration.
CH-47 Chinook: Funds the acquisition of 42 aircraft, of which 31 will be new-build and 11 will be remanufactured/Service Life Extension Program aircraft.
UH-72 Lakota LUH: Supports the continued production of 54 aircraft.
UH-60 Black Hawk: Continues procurement of the Blackhawk UH-60 under a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract, which began in FY 2007. The program is currently on schedule and within budget. The budget request supports continued production of 74 aircraft.
HH-60M Pave Hawk: Procures six aircraft, three in the base and three additional aircraft in OCO to replace three combat losses.
H-1 Huey / Super Cobra: Provides for the production of 31 aircraft (17 UH-1Y new build aircraft, 12 AH-1Z remanufactured aircraft, and 2 new build AH-1Z aircraft).
MH-60R Multi Mission Helicopter: Provides funding for continued production and supports a multiyear procurement contract covering FY 2007 through FY 2011.
MH-60S Fleet Combat Support Helicopter: Supports a follow-on multiyear procurement begun in FY 2007 and running through FY 2011.