Department of Defense Releases 30 Year Aviation PlanBy: Richard Stalker - April 12, 2012
The department of defense released their 30 year plan for the entire fleet of aircraft currently available to the Department of the Air Force (DoF), Department of the Navy (DoN-includes the Navy and Marines), and the Department of the Army (DoA). The report included funding for replacements to Air Force One and the military’s aging 4th generation fighters (F/A-18, F-16, A-10, E/A-6B)
The U.S. military’s inventory of unmanned aerial vehicles, will grow to 645 aircraft in fiscal 2022 from about 445 in fiscal 2013, which is an increase of 45%. The total is in line with the military’s budget restraints going forward.
“The military departments adjusted their plans to comply with a constrained top line by procuring fewer aircraft than desired,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wrote in a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.
The Defense Department plans to spend $770 billion on aviation assets from 2013 to 2022. This includes fighter jets, attack helicopters, airlift and cargo aircraft, combat search and rescue aircraft, air refueling planes, bombers, anti-ship and submarine aircraft, drones, training platforms and other aircraft used by Special Operations forces. Annual funding levels will peak at $80 billion in 2022, according to the Pentagon.
The Air Force “plans to continue aggressive funding” for a new long-range bomber with nuclear capabilities, according to the aviation report. The bomber would reach its initial capability in the mid-2020s, according to the Pentagon. The Defense Department plans to “hold down” the unit cost to “ensure sufficient production” of 80 to 100 bombers, according to the report. And they are also starting to look at a 6th generation fighter tabbed the F-X to replace the brand new F-22. Before you freak out, remember that the F-22 is new now, but this is a 30 year plan. In 30 years, who knows where military technology will be.