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House votes to cut $1B from Army procurement

Jun. 26, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
OIF III
An Army AH-64D Longbow Apache, 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell Ky., provides ground forces with air support in 2005 from Forward Operating Base Speicher Iraq. Funds for Apaches are included in the House version of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. (Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway / Air Force)
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Army procurement looks to lose $1 billion in 2014 — after the 2013 budget dropped $1.7 billion from the previous year.

Army procurement looks to lose $1 billion in 2014 — after the 2013 budget dropped $1.7 billion from the previous year.

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Army procurement looks to lose $1 billion in 2014 — after the 2013 budget dropped $1.7 billion from the previous year.

The cuts are contained in the House’s version of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The House passed the act June 14 by a 315-108 vote.

The Senate must submit its version. The legislative bodies will then hash out differences. The process will likely take months, but the House bill gives insight into what soldiers can expect.

The House bill calls for $16 billion for Army procurement and an additional $2.1 billion for overseas contingency operations procurement. That represents an $800 million drop from last year’s OCO procurement budget, but a $600 million boost over what the Army had requested.

The House set aside $7.9 billion for Army research, development, test and evaluation. That is a decrease of $47 million from the budget request. An additional $7 million is designated for OCO RDT&E, specifically, to the family of heavy tactical vehicles.

Aircraft purchases will again cover a considerable chunk of the base procurement budget. The House is prepared to pay $5.2 billion. That is $135 million more than the Army requested, but nearly an $800 million drop from the 2013 budget.

Nearly $760 million will go toward Apache procurement, while $96 million will buy the final 10 UH-72 Light Utility Helicopters. This will bring the total purchase to 315 aircraft instead of the 346 originally planned.

An additional $1.3 billion will be spent on missiles, close to the amount designated in 2013. Half a billion will be spent on Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement.

The Weapons and Tactical Wheeled Vehicle category got a double boost. The $1.8 billion budget is a $300 million increase over 2013 and includes $192 million more than the Army requested.

But those extra monies are a point of contention. The majority of added funds — $168 million — will go toward an Abrams tank upgrade the Army said it doesn’t need. But lawmakers added the money to keep the tank plant in Lima, Ohio, open.

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle will get $158 million for modifications, while the M88A2 improved recovery vehicle program will get $186 million, a 68 percent increase over the Army request.

The ammunition allowance continues to whittle away. The Army in 2013 received $1.6 billion, $108 million less than requested and $250 million less than the previous year. The 2014 budget allots $1.4 billion, $74.5 million less than requested. These cuts, however, were requested by the Army.

Four categories will cover the cuts:

■ 5.56mm rounds: $87 million is designated, $25 million less than requested. This is $36 million less than 2013 and $123 million less than was spent in 2012.

■ 7.62mm rounds: The $53.5 million designated is $5 million less than requested and a $37.5 million decrease from 2013.

■ 50-caliber rounds: The $55 million designated is $25 million less than requested and half of the amount given in 2013. This budget was cut $132 million two years ago.

■ 30mm rounds: The $50 million designated is $19.5 million less than requested but a $4 million decrease from 2013.

Funds for 60mm and 80mm mortar rounds dropped a combined $9 million, and 120mm rounds fell $27 million after a $20 million cut in 2013. Demolitions munitions will be cut by 33 percent to $24 million.

Mines, clearing charges and Spider Network Munitions are absent from funding. They had a combined $21 million in 2013. Spider sustained a 60 percent drop in funding last year.

A few categories will see a bump over 2013. Money for 155mm artillery rounds will jump from $26 million to $40 million, while the 155mm extended range M982 increases from $55 million to $62 million.

Overseas contingency ops

One-third of OCO procurement — some $772 million — is set aside for aircraft procurement.

The AH-64 Apache Block IIIB (new build) doubled from 2013 to $142 million, while OH-58F Kiowa Warrior wartime replacement aircraft funds will drop from $183 million to $163.8 million. CH-47 Chinooks saw a boost from $231 million in 2013 to $386 million.

Mortars are rolling some donuts. The three rounds received a combined $76 million last year. Only $5 million is designated for 60mm this year. But the Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar, whose funds were cut by half last year, will get $83 million, a more than 200 percent increase.

Modifications to mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles are funded at $563 million.

Counterintelligence/Security Countermeasures, which saw an 850 percent increase last year, will be cut sharply from $203 million to $4 million. The family of persistent surveillance capabilities also will see a big cut, from $52 million to $15 million.

Missiles are a big winner, as Hellfire funds jump from $29 million to $54 million, the Guided MLRS rocket nearly doubles to $39 million and the Army Tactical Missile System is funded at $36 million.

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