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US Defense Department unveils major procurement and R&D projects for fiscal year 2016

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World Defense & Security News - United States
 
 
US Defense Department unveils major procurement and R&D projects for fiscal year 2016
 
The US Defense Department will ask for $585 billion for the fiscal year 2016. The proposal would boost procurement spending by $14.1 billion to $107.7 billion and research and development funding by $6.3 billion to $69.8 billion, according to the draft documents. The proposal includes funds for four projects likely to boost air capabilities of the US armed forces.
     
The US Defense Department will ask for $585 billion for the fiscal year 2016. The proposal would boost procurement spending by $14.1 billion to $107.7 billion and research and development funding by $6.3 billion to $69.8 billion, according to the draft documents. The proposal includes funds for four projects likely to boost air capabilities of the US armed forces.
The US DoD asked $1.2 bn to boost development of new long-range strike bomber
, which is supposed to replace, among other, the B-1 Lancer heavy bombers
     
The budget proposal requests above all $3 billion for the KC-46A tanker program. Last December, Boeing and the US Air force have announced the successful first test flight of the KC-46A tanker program. Set to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers, the KC-46A is designed to act primarily as an airborne refueling tanker that is compatible with all US, allied, and coalition aircraft capable of in-flight refueling, but can also carry passengers and cargo, or act as a medivac airplane.

The US DoD also asked $1.2 billion for the continuous development of new long-range strike bomber (LRS-B), details of which are scant and remain classified. Only three things appear to be cast in stone: a 2025 in-service-date, a $550-$810 million unit cost (excluding development), and an 80-to-100 aircraft fleet. The rest is speculation. Design and capabilities remain unknown save some obvious ones: the bomber is purported to have stealth capability, carry both conventional and nuclear weapons, and will, in all likelihood, be optionally manned. The LRS-B, which is supposed to replace the current U.S. Air Force fleet of long-range heavy bombers (the B-1, B-2 and B-52), should above all else be cheap.

The proposal also includes funds worth $821 million for MQ-9 Reaper procurement. The US Defense Department would finally request $10.6 billion to procure 57 F-35 fighter jets — a major ramp-up from the 38 F-35s authorized for the current fiscal year.