Military

Army Increases Aircraft Portfolio for FY 2016

By By Pat Host, courtesy Defense Daily | March 5, 2015

Attack

On the aviation side, the Army is requesting nearly $4.6 billion for its aircraft portfolio in FY ’16, up 9.6 percent from the nearly $4.2 billion enacted this year. The service is also requesting $820 million in aircraft modifications, down from the $878 million enacted in FY ’15. This funding request notably includes $49 million in overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding while the no OCO funds were appropriated last year.

The Army wants to ramp up procurement of remanufactured AH-64 Apache Block IIIA, or AH-64E, helicopters, requesting $1.2 billion in FY ’16, a 63 percent increase from the $716 million enacted in FY ‘15. The service also wants $210 million this year for advance procurement of remanufactured Apache IIIAs, nearly 33 percent more than the $158 million previously allotted. The $1.2 billion would procure 64 AH-64E “Echo” models and associated modifications to the AH-64D fleet.

The Army wants 5.9 percent more funding in FY ’16 for multi-year procurement of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as it requests $1.4 billion, $80 million more than what was enacted in FY ’15. The service also wants $127 million for Black Hawk advanced procurement, $10 million more than enacted last year.

The Army wants roughly $1 billion in FY ’16 for CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter multi-year procurement, up nearly 15 percent from the $892 enacted in FY ’15. The service, however, seeks nearly 3 percent less for Chinook advance procurement, with $99 million requested this year. Congress appropriated $102 million for Chinook advance procurement in FY ’15.

Despite these investments in incremental improvements to existing platforms, the Army makes clear it is facing a tough future if Congress cannot find a way to undo sequestration. In the near term, this budget request “partially mitigates the risk inherent with funding reductions under sequestration levels … and begins to restore funding in modernization that remains near historic lows.” In the longer-term, however, “sequestration in FY16-FY23 dramatically suppresses defense spending without acknowledging the world in which we live.” —By Pat Host, courtesy Defense Daily

Receive the latest rotorcraft news right to your inbox

Curated By Logo