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White House growth and security bill includes $8.7B for new weapons

Mar. 24, 2014 - 06:23PM   |  
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye was among the Navy's requests under the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye was among the Navy's requests under the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative. (Northrop Grumman)
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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s share of the White House’s $56 billion Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative requests more than double the procurement money previously disclosed in budget documents earlier this month.

The bill, which is separate from the US Defense Department’s $496 billion 2015 base budget request, includes $26 billion for Pentagon projects. More than one-third, $8.7 billion, is eyed for procurement of new cargo aircraft, fighter jets, spy planes, helicopters and missiles.

The procurement request also covers upgrades to existing aircraft, tanks, other ground vehicles and unmanned aircraft.

The White House has proposed this money in addition to DoD’s base budget to make up for spending cuts caused by sequestration in 2013. The money, defense officials say, would help improve military readiness.

Budget overview documents released earlier this month, when DoD sent its 2015 budget request to Congress, showed about $4 billion aligned for procurement projects. The request included Boeing AH-64 Apaches, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks, Boeing Chinooks, Boeing P-8 Poseidon spy planes, Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighters, General Atomics Reapers and Lockheed C-130J transport aircraft.

More detailed documents released this week show the Air Force’s request for 10 C-130Js is split evenly between rescue and special operations versions of the aircraft.

The Navy request also includes money for the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey, Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and Boeing C-40 transport.

The procurement request includes nearly $1 billion for communications and electronics equipment, with about half of that money eyed for Army projects.

Also included in the $26 billion request is nearly $2 billion for research-and-development projects. More than $10 billion is eyed for operations and maintenance.

In addition, the White House request includes nearly $3 billion for more than 100 military construction projects at dozens of bases across the US.

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