February 13, 2018

US Air Force requests $156.3 billion in FY19, plans to retire B-1, B-2 fleets

Featuring Susanna V. Blume

Source: Defense News

Journalist Aaron Mehta

ROME — The fiscal 2019 budget for the U.S. Air Force plans to grow the service from 55 to 58 combat squadrons over the next five years, while buying dozens of high-end aircraft and preparing to retire the B-1 and B-2 bomber fleets as the military retools for the high-end competition forseen by the Pentagon.

The National Defense Strategy, released in January, focused on the potential for great power competition between the U.S. and Russia or China. And in any such battle, the U.S. Air Force would play a critical role; hence, the service’s request for $156.3 billion for FY19, a 6.6 percent overall increase from the FY18 request.

In FY19, the Air Force is requesting 48 F-35A fighter jets, 15 KC-46A tankers and one more MC-130J aircraft. Ther service is also investing $2.3 billion in research and development in the B-21 Raider bomber, up from the $2 billion request in the yet-to-be-enacted FY18 budget.

Read the full article in Defense News.

  • Susanna V. Blume

    Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Susanna Blume is a Senior Fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for New American Security. Her research areas include the Defense program and budget, defense posture and...