By Marc Selinger | March 23, 2018
The newly completed fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 1625) contains $233.5 billion for the Defense Department to develop and buy weapon systems, an increase of more than $41 billion from fiscal year 2017. There is also a total of $4 billion in spending included in the bill specifically for new-build and re-manufactured defense helicopter purchases.
Defense helicopter spending in the bill includes $1.6 billion for 30 new-build and 50 remanufactured AH-64 Apache helicopters, $1.3 billion for 14 V-22 tiltrotor aircraft and $1.1 billion for 56 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
Overall, the omnibus includes a total of $700 billion for defense, an $80 billion increase from fiscal year 2017, which is consistent with the budget outline that U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law last month. U.S. House and Senate negotiators unveiled the 12-bill, $1.3 trillion omnibus late March 21. The House passed it March 22 by a 256 to 167 vote, sending it to the Senate for consideration.
The presidential administration released a statement expressing support for the legislation.
This article was originally published in Defense Daily, a sister publication of Rotor & Wing International. It has been edited.