- 113 pages
- October 16, 2009
The administration’s proposed FY2010 defense budget requests about $10.4 billion in research and development and procurement funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The proposed FY2010 budget would fund the procurement of 10 F-35As for the Air Force, 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps, and four F-35Cs for the Navy.
The administration’s proposed FY2010 defense budget also proposes to terminate the F-35 alternate engine program, which is intended to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
engine as an alternative to the Pratt and Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35. The
F-35 alternate engine program has emerged as a major item of debate on the FY2010 defense
budget. The Obama administration opposes further funding for the alternate engine program and
has threatened to veto the FY2010 defense authorization or appropriation bill if either “would
seriously disrupt” the F-35 program.
FY2010 defense authorization bill: The conference report (H.Rept. 111-288 of October 7, 2009)
on the FY2010 defense authorization bill (H.R. 2647) authorizes funding for procuring a total of
30 F-35s in FY2010, as requested. The report authorizes $430 million in Air Force and Navy
research and development funding for continued development of the F136 alternate engine, and
$130 million in Air Force advance procurement funding to begin procurement of F136 engines.
Section 131 of the bill requires a report on the procurement of “4.5”-generation fighters that is to
include, among other things, “a discussion regarding the availability and feasibility of procuring
F-35 aircraft to proportionally and concurrently recapitalize the Air National Guard during fiscal
years 2015 through fiscal year 2025.” Section 217 requires future DOD budgets to provide
separate line items for the F-35B and F-35C within the Navy aircraft procurement account and
the Navy research and development account. Section 244 requires, for the period 2010-2015, an
annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the status of the F-35 program.
FY2010 DOD appropriations bill: The FY2010 Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations
bill (H.R. 3326) as reported by the House Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 111-230 of July 24,
2009) recommends reducing procurement of F-35s by two aircraft from the administration’s
request (two F-35Bs), and increasing funding for the F-35 alternate engine program.
H.R. 3326 as reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee (S.Rept. 111-74 of September 10,
2009) recommends procuring a total of 30 F-35s in FY2010, as requested. The report
recommends a $22-million reduction to the administration’s procurement and advance
procurement funding request for the F-35 program and recommends a $156-million reduction to
the administration’s research and development funding request for the F-35 program. The
committee’s report does not recommend any funding for the F-35 alternate engine program.