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Budget Deal Trims Bomber, Destroyer, Missile and Drone Programs

Northrop Grumman ad  about the defense contractor's design for the U.S. Air Forces Long-Range Strike Bomber program. (Northrop Grumman)

U.S. lawmakers wasted little time in identifying which programs to trim as part of a bipartisan budget deal that required cutting $5 billion from the 2016 defense budget.

Leaders of congressional defense committees -- including Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry, R-Texas, who heads the counterpart panel in the House, on Tuesday released a list of 98 programs that were targeted for $4.99 billion in reductions, from the controversial effort to train and equip moderate Syrian forces to the Navy Fleet Band's national tours.

The single biggest area of savings -- more than $1 billion -- came from adjusted estimates for fuel costs, which are lower than expected. Other top areas identified for reductions include line items for the Pentagon headquarters, Army civilian workforce, Army readiness and counter-terrorism partnership fund, according to a ranking compiled by Military​.com.

On the modernization front, the biggest acquisition programs in the list include the Air Force's new Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRS-B, recently won by Northrop Grumman Corp. (with $230 million in reductions); the Navy's DDG-51 destroyer effort led by General Dynamics Corp. and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. ($150 million); the Army's PAC-3 missile segment enhancement developed by Lockheed Martin Corp. ($100 million); the Air Force's MQ-9 Reaper made by General Atomics ($80 million); and the Missile Defense Agency's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense built by Lockheed ($50 million).

The reduction to the new program to develop a fleet of next-generation bombers was because the Air Force delayed awarding a contract by several months from the spring to the fall, so the additional money wasn't needed. It wasn't immediately clear why the other efforts were targeted.

The adjustments are included in an updated version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2016, which has been introduced in the House.

The full list of the programs, sorted by rank of biggest reduction, is below:

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LINE ITEM AMOUNT
Fuel rate adjustments -1,082,000
FY16 Share of Planned DOD Headquarters Streamling/Attrition -453,000
Overestimation Of Army Civilian Full Time Equivalent Targets -262,500
Army Readiness increase -250,000
Counterterrorism Partnership Fund -250,000
Long Range Strike Bomber change to align with contract award delay -230,000
ANG Readiness increase -192,600
Adds National Guard & Reserve Equipment Account ‐ adjustment to House increase (remains $250M above PB) -170,000
Adds Unexecutable increase in Air Force End Strength -150,200
DDG‐51 -150,000
Syria Train & Equip program change -125,000
Afghan Security Forces Fund ‐ fuel savings -110,000
Classified Program Adjustment -102,600
Technology Offset Initiative (New Program) -100,000
PAC‐3 Missile Segment Enhancement -100,000
Coalition Support Funds -100,000
Unjustified program growth for Defense Information System Network (DISN) activities -90,800
MQ‐9 Quantity increase -80,000
Airlift Readiness Account (from OMAF Mobility Operations) -77,000
Unexecutable Navy Civilian Full Time Equivalent Growth for management functions -66,281
Reduce THAAD purchase -50,000
Joint Enabling Capabilities Command ‐ efficiency -41,000
Reduce SM3 1B purchase -30,000
Ship Outfitting -28,907
Basic research program increase ‐ Navy -27,500
Counterfire Radars -25,000
Basic research program increase ‐ Air Force -22,500
Long Range Standoff Weapon contract delay -20,500
Basic research program increase ‐ Army -20,000
Common Avionics Changes -20,000
Excess Air Force carryover ‐ Spares and Repair Parts -20,000
Restructure AF Integrated Personnel and Pay System -19,000
HARM Improvement -18,544
Logistics Operations -17,000
CARB Combating Antibiot Resistant Bacteria -16,540
Increases to NDAA Reductions Air Force unjustified contract increase -16,100
Logistics Support Activities -16,000
C‐5 Airlift Squadrons (IF) Communications Equipment/Radar Mods -15,000
Mentor Protégé Program -15,000
Common Ground Equipment -15,000
Unexecutable USAF Full Time Equivalent Increase in Combat Enhancement Forces -14,000
Joint Capability Technology Demostration -13,000
Delayed deployment of Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System -12,700
DCMA Information Technology Development -12,500
Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) contract delay -12,358
Surface Combatant Combat System Engineering -12,300
Logistics Information Technology -12,176
Automated Data Processing Equip -12,000
SHARKSEER -11,000
JIEDDO Attack The Network -10,536
STARBASE -10,000
Family Of Beyond Line‐Of‐Sight Terminals -10,000
Distributed Common Ground System‐Army -10,000
F–18 Modifications -10,000
Joint Air‐Surface Standoff Missile unit cost efficiencies -10,000
Reduce AF Acquisition Training ‐ duplication of effort -10,000
Trident II MODS program growth -10,000
Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Modifications -10,000
Maneuver Control System -10,000
Excess Navy carryover ‐ Spares and Repair Parts -10,000
F‐15 Modiciations -10,000
HC‐130J unit cost growth -9,500
Defense University Research Instrumentation Program increase -9,000
Increase in Public Affairs at Local Installations -8,500
USMC Ground Combat/Supporting Arms project delay -8,100
Joint Air‐to‐Ground Missile (JAGM) contract delays -8,088
Advanced Hawkeye Development -8,000
Next Gen Jammer Development contract delay -8,000
Common Computer Resources -7,000
MC‐130J program efficiencies -6,700
Joint Electronic Advanced Technology -6,500
Advanced EHF program growth -6,000
Fleet satellite comm follow‐on: excess storage costs -5,700
DLA Uniform Research new start -5,360
Quick Reaction Special Projects -5,000
Weather System Follow On -5,000
Transportable Tactical Command Communications -5,000
Navy Fleet Band National Tours -5,000
H–1 Upgrades -5,000
Excess carryover ‐ Spacelift Range System Space -5,000
Unexecutable USAF Full Time Equivalent Increase in Security Programs -4,900
E‐4 Modification program delay -4,000
Increase in Space and Missile Center (SMC) Civilian Workforce -3,578
Unexecutable USAF Full Time Equivalent Increase in Tactical Intel and Other Special Activities -3,200
Advanced Civil Schooling ‐ Civilian Graduate School -3,000
National Guard State Partnership Program -2,700
Joint Warfighting Program -2,126
Unexecutable USAF Full Time Equivalent Increase in Primary Combat Forces -2,100
Global Positioning (Space) program growth -2,000
Air Force Satellite Control Network system engineering -2,000
AMRAAM unit cost variance -1,700
Global Combat Support System ‐ AF Family of Systems -1,500
Civil Air Patrol -1,150
Air Force Civilian Graduate Education Program -930
Mid‐Tier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR) -894
Eliminate National Guard Heritage Paintings initiative -510
Naval Sea Cadet Corps -500
C‐130 Modifications -51
TOTAL -4,991,429

 

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