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Franklin

Captain
750 billion dollars in defense spending! :eek:

Trump backs $750 billion defense budget request to Congress, says US official

U.S. President Donald Trump has backed plans to request $750 billion from Congress for defense spending next year, a U.S. official said on Sunday, signaling a Pentagon spending hike at a time of potential belt-tightening elsewhere in the government.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had discussed the budget with Trump in recent days and outlined the risks of flat defense spending.

U.S. President Donald Trump has backed plans to request $750 billion from Congress for defense spending next year, a U.S. official said on Sunday, signaling a Pentagon spending hike at a time of potential belt-tightening elsewhere in the government.

Trump, faced with a budget deficit at a six-year high, told his Cabinet earlier this year to come up with proposals to cut spending by their agencies by 5 percent, but he suggested the military would be largely spared.

The $750 billion would be even more than the $733 billion request that the Pentagon had been expected to make for fiscal year 2020. It is also well above a $700 billion figure Trump cited in October.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had discussed the budget with Trump in recent days and outlined the risks of flat defense spending.

The official said that it was clear during that discussion that Trump wanted to "accelerate the progress his administration has made in rebuilding the military."

In August, Trump signed a $716 billion defense policy bill.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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localizer

Senior Member
Registered Member
what’s that saying again? peace through fear doesn’t last

“defense” spending will exceed $1 trill soon because people will fight back

add that to tax cut
then add to baby boomer welfare

1.5 trillion deficits will soon became the norm

you can add the next quantitative easing to that as well.
We might be looking at occasional 2 trillion + deficits near term and 3 trillion + later.

Then u fight a trade war during the the bottom of a long term credit cycle and want to reduce your deficit, who’s going absorb the dollar and buy the bonds?

This administration literally did everything wrong in the current economy.
 

Jura

General
now recalled Nov 25, 2018
...

what nobody will ever say is this:
this 'deferred' maintenance means those subs will be available for longer time in the future (would be important if new financial challenges occurred);

what nobody asks is this:
had those subs been available earlier (thanks to no maintenance delays), what would the USN have gained? I mean what opportunities were missed
while reading
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Navy readiness is “heading in the wrong direction,” the Government Accountability Office told the Senate this morning, with only 15 percent of
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rated “fully mission capable.” At
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, a
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acknowledged three nuclear-powered attack submarines were still
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, with the USS Boise expected to be out of action for a total of six years.

The hearing comes just days after two Marine Corps aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan, killing seven. 2017 had been
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for Marine aviation with 20 deaths, commandant Gen. Robert Neller, said back in January. 2018 had been much better — with
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doing more than $2 million in damage — until last Thursday’s crash. Aviation is an inherently risky profession and aviation mishaps are often considered a canary in the coal mine for wider readiness problems caused by funding shortfalls, maintenance bottlenecks, or excessive stress on the force.

Nuclear Submarines

While maintenance backlogs continue to be felt across the services, the Navy in particular has lost more than 27,000 days of ship and submarine availability due to maintenance delays since 2012. The problem is particularly acute for nuclear powered vessels — submarines and aircraft carriers — on which only a few shipyards are qualified to work.

“Completing maintenance on time has proven to be a wicked problem,” GAO’s John Pendleton said. A GAO
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to coincide with the joint hearing before the Senate subcommittees on sea power and readiness and management support found that over the past decade, the Navy has spent $1.5 billion “to support attack submarines that provide no operational capability—those sitting idle no longer certified to conduct normal operations—while waiting to enter the shipyards.”

Three submarines are currently out of service as they wait their turns in dry dock for repairs and overhaul. One, the now-infamous Los Angeles-class attack sub USS Boise, has been out of commission for more then three years awaiting its turn.

Adm. William Moran, Vice Chief Of Naval Operations, told the Senators that the Boise will begin repairs next month, while the other two boats will get their shot in February and May. The Boise has not deployed since 2015, and its overhaul is expected to be completed in 2021, which means a six-year gap between deployments.

Moran said that it has taken the attack subs so long to get into a dry dock because they fall lower on the food chain when it comes to repair priorities. First come the Navy’s ballistic missile subs, which carry much of the nation’s nuclear deterrent; “next is our carriers, which have been ridden very hard” in recent years with extended deployments; and “last and standing in line to get into those availabilities in our public yards are the (attack submarines), so we have begun to put them in private yards to level the load.”

Using private shipyards has lessened the strain somewhat, Moran said. “The numbers are coming down significantly. The standing in line has come down significantly, [but] we still have a ways to go. We’re not out of the woods yet, but I think as capacity opens up in the private yards, and we do a better job in the public yards, getting our carriers out on time, we’ll be there.”

The Navy is looking to upgrade its public shipyards and is putting together a plan to use more private yards. That plan should make it to the Hill at the end of the month,
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said.

Navy Fighters

Earlier this year, Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered the military to raise fighter aircraft availability to
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by the end of 2019. That’s a tall order that has the services scrambling.

Adm. Moran had some positive news to share there. Last year,
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. Now, Moran says, the Navy’s operational squadrons of F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornets are currently seeing readiness rates of about 66 percent, up from about 45 percent just last year. But he noted that is only for combat-ready squadrons: If you look at the entire fleet of Super Hornets, including training squadrons and aircraft sent to depots for major overhauls, the number will be lower.

The 66 percent figure also doesn’t include the older-model non-super Hornets, the F-18A, B, C, and D models. Those are particularly common in the Marine Corps, which, unlike the Navy, never bought the “Super” E and F variants.

The 80 percent number “is a stretch goal, but it is a stretch goal we will take,” Spencer said. He said he has seen improvements, especially in the Hornet fleet, after the navy hired a former exec from Southwest Airlines who has increased the flow of aircraft passing through the depots.

The GAO’s Pendleton was less sanguine. Is Mattis’ request possible? “That is the 80 percent question,” Pendleton said. “We have to understand what ‘mission capable’ means. That does not mean the aircraft can do all the missions that are assigned to it”: That would mean a designation of “Fully Mission Capable” (FMC).

Last year, the F-35 typically had a 15 percent fully mission capable rate, Pendleton said. “Early indications incorporating them into the fleet is that we are seeing some challenges there as well,” he testified. “It took months, sometimes six months or more to get parts repaired and back out to the fleet.”

However, Sec. Spencer warned, things would get much worse if Congress fails to override the
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next year and budget caps go into force in
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. Any progress the Navy has made in getting readiness back would be wiped out, he said, and “to kill it now with any sort of sequestration would be a crime.”
it's
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Jura

General
cool sentence inside
Germany, US haggle over access to secret missile-performance data
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:

"Confidence in any interceptor’s hit probability is key in the missile-defense world, where minute performance variations can mean the difference between an incoming missile shot down or a so-called leaker delivering its warhead to Earth."
 

Jura

General
...

NGAD goes from $23M in FY17 to $294M FY18 to $500M FY19. FY20 is projected to be $1.3B. FY21, $1.9B. FY22, $3B. FY23, $2.9B.

...
... Budget watchdog warns this fighter could cost three times that of the F-35
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A
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for the U.S. Air Force, known by the service as
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, could cost about $300 million in 2018 dollars per plane, the
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states in a new study.

At that price, PCA would be
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that of the average F-35A jet, which is set at about $94 million to capture both the expense of early production lots and
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, according the report, which predicts the cost of replacing the Air Force’s aircraft inventory from now until 2050.

This sum, while not an official cost estimate from the Pentagon, represents the first time a government entity has weighed in on the potential price tag for PCA.

The CBO estimates the Air Force will need 414 PCA aircraft to replace existing F-15C/Ds and F-22s, the Air Force’s current fighters geared toward air-to-air combat. It also surmises that the first aircraft will enter service in 2030, based on the service’s stated desire to begin fielding PCA around that time frame.

The reason for the whopping price tag?

Part of it comes down to the cost of new technology.

“The PCA aircraft would probably have a greater range and payload, as well as
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and sensor capabilities, than today’s F-22; those characteristics would help it operate in the presence of the high-end air defenses that DoD believes China, Russia, and other potential adversaries may have in the future,” the CBO states.

The other reason comes down to history.

The Air Force doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to producing stealth aircraft at the low costs initially envisioned by leadership. Both the B-2 and F-22 programs were truncated in part due to the high price per plane — which in turn contributed to the production rate never accelerating to the point where unit costs begin to decrease. The early years of the F-35 program were also marred by a series of cost overruns that eventually prompted the Pentagon to restructure it.

“Containing costs for the PCA aircraft may be similarly difficult,” the report states.

The Air Force has said little about PCA
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in 2016, which stated a need for a new fighter jet that would be networked into a family of systems of other air, space, cyber and electronic warfare technologies.

“The replacement may not be a single platform,” Gen. Dave Goldfein, the Air Force’s chief of staff, told Defense News earlier this year. “It may be two or three different kinds of capabilities and systems. And so as we look at air superiority in the future, ensuring that we’re advancing to stay ahead of the adversary, we’re looking at all those options.”

Although Air Force leadership won’t say exactly what it’s doing to develop PCA or when a new jet may be coming online, it’s clearly making investments. In the fiscal 2019 budget, the service requested $504 million for “next-generation air dominance,” its portfolio of future fighter technologies and weapons. The Air Force expects to ramp up funding to $1.4 billion in FY20, hitting a high in FY22 with a projected $3.1 billion in spending.

According to the CBO’s analysis, Air Force procurement of new aircraft could peak at about $26 billion in 2033, as the service buys both the F-35 and PCA. Those two fighters, together with the B-21 bomber, are set to be the largest drivers of cost as procurement reaches its height in the mid-2030s.

“Although the Air Force could probably modify both retirement plans and replacement schedules to smooth out the 2033 peak, the average annual costs of procuring new aircraft would still be higher than in the recent past: $15 billion in the 2020s, $23 billion in the 2030s, and $15 billion in the 2040s,” the report states.

Dealing with an upcoming bow wave

CBO’s estimates included 35 platforms that will be replacing legacy systems, with six programs making up more than 85 percent of the projected procurement costs cited throughout the report: the F-35, PCA, the KC-46A, the B-21, the C-130J cargo plane as well as the yet-unannounced C-17 replacement.

The report envisions a future where the Air Force is allowed to retire all of its legacy fighter and attack aircraft — the A-10, the F-15, the F-16 and even the F-22 — in favor of three aircraft: the F-35, PCA and a light attack aircraft configured to take on low-threat missions.

The Air Force has yet to decide whether to buy a light-attack aircraft or how extensive its purchase may be, although the service is expected to put out a request for proposals by the end of the month.

“Funding for new fighter aircraft makes up about half of the total projected costs of procuring new aircraft,” the CBO states, with the F-35 set to be the most expensive program through the 2020s until PCA takes its place in the early 2030s.

The Air Force could decrease costs in a couple of ways, although all of them come with significant drawbacks.

For one, it could extend the lives of its legacy fighter and attack aircraft, and delay programs like PCA. However, the CBO notes that “obtaining replacement parts can be both difficult and expensive, and a refurbished fleet may not provide as many available and mission-capable aircraft as a new fleet.”

If the service wants to increase the availability of its inventory without paying the high price associated with developing a new stealth fighter, it could retire its legacy F-15s and F-16s and buy new ones. That option is probably more expensive, but would result in aircraft that are more reliable.

The Air Force could also defer the PCA program while allowing some of its legacy aircraft to be retired, the CBO posits.

However, Air Force leadership contend that the service is already too small, with Secretary Heather Wilson arguing that the number of operational squadrons
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— a goal that necessitates buying more aircraft.
 

Jura

General
interestingly,
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The Navy may begin deploying submarine-hunting P-8 Poseidon aircraft to a small airstrip hundreds of miles off the Alaskan coast, signaling a
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over
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.

The remote runway sits on the island of Adak in the Aleutian island chain, and it’s the westernmost airfield that can handle passenger aircraft in the United States — in fact, it currently handles Air Alaska flights two days a week.

Formally known as Naval Air Facility Adak, the small airport has been operating commercially since the Navy moved out in 1997, but increasing Russian and Chinese activity in the Arctic has the Navy looking at new patrols as it searches for ways to keep a closer watch on the far north.

Navy officials previously estimated that
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would cost around $1.3 billion, but Navy Secretary Richard Spencer indicated Wednesday at a
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of the Senate subcommittees on sea power and readiness & management that he isn’t looking to reopen the entire facility.

“The airstrip is in great shape,” Spencer said after the hearing when I asked about flying aircraft from the island. The Navy would likely have to pay to clean up one of the hangers, but the airport “has a fuel farm up there that Air Alaska is using to fuel its planes, it has de-icing platforms that we could use for fresh water washdowns for the P-8. They have lodging up there that is supposedly coming forward to us on a rental availability, so it really isn’t a big bill.”

In recent years the US has spent millions of dollars to fix up another Cold War-era airfield, Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland, to accommodate P-8s watching for Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic between Greenland, Iceland, and the United Kingdom. These waterways, dubbed the GIUK Gap, are the primary outlet for Russian subs moving from their northern ports into the Atlantic.

The Pentagon has grown increasingly concerned over ceding ground to Russia and China in the Arctic, as both countries are outpacing the US in
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to help move ships and supplies to far-flung outposts as the region’s ice disappears due to global warming.

Spencer told lawmakers “our Russian friends are warming up five airstrips and 10,000 Spetsnaz troops [in the Arctic] for quote unquote search and rescue. The Chinese are up there. Everybody is up there.”

“Everybody but us,” retorted Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan.

“We are up there under the sea and in the air,” Spencer said, adding that the Navy is working with the Coast Guard to devise ways to conduct more training missions in the far north and identify ports that could accommodate Navy ships.

“If I had a at blank check for everything, it would be terrific to ice-harden ships but with the demand we have right now it is unaffordable,” Spencer told lawmakers. But “we need to get up there. I can commit to the fact that we’re trying to figure out how we do service that.”

The Navy isn’t the only service looking to beef up its presence in Alaska. The Air Force
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it is looking to move some of the F-22s made homeless after Hurricane Michael battered Tyndall Air Base in Florida to Alaska’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

During an
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to the state, Defense Secretary James Mattis pledged “America has got to up its game in the Arctic” given the melting of the polar ice caps and the rush to find long-hidden natural resources in the region.

In many ways, the Navy is already on the move. In November, the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier cruised above the Arctic Circle, the first time an American carrier moved that far north since the Cold War. The carrier strike group was taking part in NATO’s
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exercise, which saw ships and sailors get battered by the rough, cold seas.

“We’ve been operating in the Persian Gulf, where it’s like a lake, and it’s really hot, whereas now we’re operating up off the coast of Norway, where it’s blowing a gale, the decks are moving around, the ships are getting beat up, and the people are getting beat up,”
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Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the Navy’s newly reconstituted 2nd Fleet, last month.

Lewis’ command
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, where Russia has been more active as it expands and modernizes its force. “We’re not used to being out on the flight deck for long periods of time where it’s really cold,” Lewis added.

Adak, a 3-hour flight west from Anchorage deep in the Bering Sea, would allow US aircraft to not only push deeper and more consistently into the Arctic, but give US spy planes a new base from which to keep an eye on Russia’s Pacific Fleet and the increasing number of Chinese subs prowling the Pacific.

The potential new deployments come as the US is actively shifting its gaze to the Pacific after two decades of grinding conflict in the Middle East.

Washington’s allies in the region are also snapping up US-made surveillance planes to track increased Chinese activity, as well. In September, The State Department
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of six P-8A Poseidon aircraft to South Korea, and the $3.1 billion sale of nine E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft to Japan.
it's
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anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
Although Air Force leadership won’t say exactly what it’s doing to develop PCA or when a new jet may be coming online, it’s clearly making investments. In the fiscal 2019 budget, the service requested $504 million for “next-generation air dominance,” its portfolio of future fighter technologies and weapons. The Air Force expects to ramp up funding to $1.4 billion in FY20, hitting a high in FY22 with a projected $3.1 billion in spending.
That's up by $100M next year (assuming that passes). Then another $100M (at least) in FY22. Plus additional between here and there, probably. If it's an additional $100M/year, we're looking at another $400M or 4+ F-35s worth of something. I'd bet either some cost growth or more prototyping/demonstrations.

I'd heard a couple rumors what happened at Tyndall AFB shook up things and added urgency, but $400M doesn't look like a lot of an acceleration, tbh. If it had been another $2B between now and peak, then I'd say we'd see the PCA far, far faster.
 

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