DoD FY 2017 aircraft procurement & modernization
WASHINGTON. Funding slated for major aircraft and related systems totals $45.3 billion under the Department of Defense (DoD) Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 acquisition funding request, which totals $183.9 billion.
The funding request includes base funding and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. The DoD’s “Program Acquisition Cost by Weapons System” booklet has $112.1 billion for procurement and $71.8 billion for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) of these weapon system programs. Of the $183.9 billion, $72.7 billion is for programs that have been designated as Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) or Major Automated Information Systems MAIS. Aircraft and related systems funding includes procurement for 63 F-35 jets, 29 logistics support aircraft, 152 helicopters, and 35 unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) as well modifications and upgrades to key systems. Program highlights are below. To read the entire booklet, click here.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the next-generation strike fighter for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and U.S. Allies. The F-35 consists of three variants: the F-35A Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL), the F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL), and the F-35C Carrier variant (CV). The F-35A CTOL replaces the Air Force F-16 and A-10, and complements the F-22; the F-35B STOVL replaces the Marine Corps AV-8B and F/A-18A/C/D; the F-35C CV complements the F/A-18E/F for the Navy, and will also be flown by the Marine Corps. The FY 2017 program looks to continue development of the air system, F135 single engine propulsion system, and conduct systems engineering, development and operational testing, and support follow-on development. The request procures a total of 63 aircraft: 43 CTOL for the Air Force, 16 STOVL for the Marine Corps, and 4 CV for the Navy in FY 2017. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 drops from $11.602 billion in FY 2016 to $10.504 billion. The prime contractors for the F-35 are Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth, Texas, and Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut.
The P–8A Poseidon is multi-mission platform designed to replace the P-3C Orion propeller driven aircraft. All sensors onboard the aircraft contribute to a single fused tactical situation display, which is then shared over both military standard and Internet protocol data links, enabling delivery of data between U.S. and allied forces. The P-8A will carry a new radar array, which is a modernized version of the Raytheon APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System. The FY 2017 program calls for procurement of 11 P-8A aircraft, support equipment and spares, and provides advance procurement for future aircraft. It also looks to continue research and development on the P-8A capabilities to meet the ASW, ASuW, and ISR objectives that will be delivered incrementally while full rate production continues for the baseline aircraft. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 drops from $3.373 billion in FY 2016 to $2.165 billion. The prime contractors are Boeing in Seattle for the airframe and CFM International in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the engine.
The F-22 Raptor program is a fifth generation aircraft fighter that penetrates enemy airspace and achieve first-look, first-kill capability against multiple targets. The FY 2017 program calls for continuing the planned modernization for F-22 aircraft via incremental capability upgrades and key reliability and maintainability improvements. It also continues development and testing of advanced air superiority capabilities to include integration of AIM-120D and AIM-9X, additional electronic protection, and improved geolocation. The FY 2017 program also looks to continue fielding of Increment 3.1 advanced Global Strike capabilities such as Small Diameter Bomb I, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and Geolocation, and funding to support 3.2B retrofit in FY 2017. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 increases slightly from $556 million in FY 2016 to $704 million. The prime contractors are: Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia, and Fort Worth, Texas; Boeing in Seattle; and Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut.
The KC-46, an aerial refueling tanker, will provide aerial refueling support to the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps as well as U.S. Allies aircraft. The aircraft provides increased refueling capacity, improved efficiency, and increased cargo and aeromedical evacuation capability over the current KC-135 Stratotanker, which is more than 50 years old. The first phase of aerial refueling tanker recapitalization will procure 179 aircraft, about one-third of the current KC-135 tanker fleet, according to the DoD. Envisioned KC-Y and KC-Z programs will ultimately recapitalize the entire tanker fleet over a period of more than 30 years. The KC-46 aircraft will be assembled on the existing commercial 767 production lines and militarized in the Everett Modification Center, both of which are located in Everett, Washington. The FY 2017 program continues the development efforts of a militarized variant of the Boeing 767-2C aircraft, the building and integration of military capabilities into four development aircraft, and developmental and operational testing. Also included in the program is funding for the development of technical manuals, continued Type I training, and collection of simulator and maintenance data. It continues a third year of LRIP, procuring 15 aircraft in FY 2017. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 increases from $2.996 billion in FY 2016 to $3.319 billion. The prime contractor is Boeing in Seattle.
The V-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft designed to meet the amphibious/vertical assault needs of the Marine Corps, the strike rescue needs of the Navy, and the long range special operations forces missions for SOCOM. The FY 2017 program looks to fund the fifth and final year of a follow-on five-year multiyear procurement contract (FY 2013 to 2017) with the procurement of 16 MV-22 aircraft for the Marine Corps. The last year of procurement for the Air Force-SOCOM CV-22 was FY 2014; however, the FY 2016 Appropriations Act added one CV-22 for Air Force attrition reserve. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 decreases slightly from $1.609 billion in FY 2016 to $1.475 billion. The prime contractor is Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas and Boeing in Philadelphia.
The AH-64E Apache program is a remanufacture effort, integrating a mast-mounted fire control radar into an upgraded and enhanced AH–64 airframe. The remanufacture effort results in a zero-time Longbow Apache, which restarts its service life and upgrades the aircraft with updated technologies and performance enhancements to keep the Apache viable throughout its lifecycle, according to the DoD. This program also provides for the installation of the target acquisition designation sight and pilot night vision sensors, plus other safety and reliability enhancements. The FY 2017 program funds the remanufacture of 48 AH-64D aircraft to the AH-64E configuration in the first year of a five-year multiyear procurement contract (FY 2017 – FY 2021) and continued development of upgrades to enhance operational capabilities. The program looks to procure four AH-64E aircraft in the Overseas Contingency Operations request. The prime contractor for the Apache is Boeing in Mesa, Arizona. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 decreases slightly from $1.419 billion in FY 2016 to $1.132 billion. Prime contractors for integration are Northrop Grumman Corp. in Baltimore and Lockheed Martin Corp. in Oswego, New York.
The H–1 program replaces the AH–1W Super Cobra and the UH–1N Huey helicopters with the AH–1Z Viper and UH–1Y Venom, the next generation of Marine Corps attack and utility aircraft. Speed, range, and payload have been increased significantly, while supportability demands, training timelines, and total ownership cost have decreased. The advanced cockpit is common to each aircraft, reduces operator workload, improves situational awareness, and provides growth potential for future weapons and joint digital interoperability enhancements. The current procurement strategy converts 37 AH-1W helicopters into AH-1Zs, builds 152 new AH-1Zs, remanufactures 10 H-1N helicopters into UH-1Ys, and builds 150 new UH-1Ys. Both aircraft are in full rate production. The FY 2016 procurement of 13 UH-1Y aircraft completed the program of record procurement of 160 UH-1Y aircraft. The FY 2017 program calls for funding the procurement of 24 new build AH-1Z aircraft. It also funds developmental efforts to support follow-on improvements to sensors and weapons integration, avionics, and air vehicle components that will address deficiencies, systems safety, obsolescence, reliability, and cost growth issues for the AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 decreases slightly from $867 million in FY 2016 to $844 million. The prime contractor is Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., in Fort Worth, Texas.
Long Range Strike
Long Range Strike (LRS) is intended to counter post-2020 challenges to DoD’s power projection capabilities, according to the DoD. The LRS initiatives, collectively termed “Family of Systems” (FoS), will provide a synergistic, more cost-effective force multiplier power projection capability in the post-2020 threat environment. LRS includes the next generation and legacy bombers. Current bombers in the Air Force inventory are the B-1, B-2, and B-52 aircraft. The Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) is a new, high-tech long range bomber that will eventually replace the Air Force’s aging bomber fleet. The next generation follow-on bomber, the LRS-B, will be a key component of the joint portfolio of conventional and nuclear deep-strike capabilities. The FY 2017 program looks to begin engineering and manufacturing development of the next generation LRS-B and continues modernization of legacy strategic bombers. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 increases from $1.508 billion in FY 2016 to $2.198 billion. The prime contractor is Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Palmdale, California.
Predator and Gray Eagle
The U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator and the Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems are comprised of aircraft configured with multi-spectral targeting systems. General Atomics–Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), in San Diego, is the prime contractor. Both Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Air Force are in stages of divesting the MQ-1. SOCOM ceased procuring it in FY 2015, and the Air Force is in the process of divesting the platform and replacing all aircraft with MQ-9s. The Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle also adds a SAR ground moving target indicator (GMTI), a communications relay capability, a heavy fuel engine, encrypted tactical common data link, and greater weapons capability. The FY 2017 programs fund the continued development and integration of the Universal Ground Control Station and a signals intelligence capability for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle. The last year of procurement for the Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle was FY 2016. Total funding for Predator/Gray Eagle – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 drops from $454 million in FY 2016 to $121 million.
The U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper UAS program consists of aircraft configured with an array of sensors to include day/night full motion video, signals intelligence (SIGINT), and SAR sensor payloads, avionics, data links and weapons; a ground control segment with a launch and recovery element, and a mission control element with embedded line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight communications equipment. The FY 2017 program requests funding for the continued development, transformation, and fielding of Reaper aircraft and ground stations. The base request calls for procurement of 26 fixed ground control stations, a training simulator, and continued modification of MQ-9s to the extended range configuration. The OCO request includes the procurement of 24 additional aircraft, updated multi-spectral sensors and payload modifications. Total funding – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 decreases slightly from $1.103 billion in FY 2016 to $1.086 billion. The prime contractor is GA-ASI.
Global Hawk, Triton, and NATO AGS
The Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk, Navy MQ-4C Triton, and NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) UAS programs provide high altitude long endurance ISR capabilities. The RQ-4 Block 30 has a multi-intelligence suite for imagery and signals intelligence collection, and the Block 40 has multi-platform radar technology for SAR imaging and moving target detection. The final three RQ-4 Block 30 aircraft will be delivered in FY 2017. The MQ-4C will provide the Navy with a persistent maritime ISR capability. Mission systems include inverse SAR, electro-optical/infra-red full motion video, maritime moving target detection, electronic support measures, automatic identification system, a basic communications relay capability, and Link-16. Five NATO AGS aircraft are being procured with development funding and will complete deliveries by mid-FY 2017. Mission: The Air Force and NATO AGS RQ-4 systems perform high-altitude, near-real-time, high-resolution ISR collection, while the MQ-4C provides persistent maritime ISR. Both Air Force and Navy systems support combatant commander requirements, while the MQ-4C also supports the numbered fleet commanders from five worldwide sites. The FY 2017 program seeks funding for the development and modification efforts for the RQ-4 Block 30, Block 40, ground stations, and Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion programs; the Global Hawk modernization program; and the U.S. contribution to the NATO AGS. MQ-4C: Funding for the MQ-4C covers procurement of two LRIP systems and continues to fund development activities associated with software upgrades and the multi-intelligence effort. Total funding for Global Hawk, Triton and AGS – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 drops from $1.384 billion in FY 2016 to $1.102 billion. The prime contractor is Northrop Grumman in Rancho Bernardo, California.
Shadow, Raven, Puma, and Blackjack
The RQ-7 Shadow, RQ-11 Raven, RQ-20 Puma, and RQ-21 Blackjack UASs provide organic reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition (RSTA) capabilities and are embedded in maneuver formations that can provide data to ground commanders. The FY 2017 program calls for funding for upgrades to system hardware and payloads for the RQ-7 Shadow. It also looks to procure upgrades and provide training and contractor logistics support for the RQ-11 Raven. FY 2017 program funding calls for procurement of RQ-20 Puma systems for the Marine Corps and SOCOM. The program procures a total of 8 RQ-21 Blackjack systems (base and OCO) and provides contractor logistics support UAS. Total funding for Shadow, Raven, Puma, and Blackjack – procurement, research, and development – in the FY 2017 rises slightly from $278 million in FY 2016 to $298 million. The prime contractors respectively are: Textron Systems in Hunt Valley, Maryland, for the RQ-7 Shadow; AeroVironment, Inc., in Simi Valley, California for the RQ-20 Puma; and INSITU Inc., in Bingen, Washington, for the RQ-21 Blackjack.