The U.S. Defense Department rolled out its proposed $705 billion FY2021 budget this week that contains funding for 247 new aircraft from major programs worth a collective $23.8 billion. The aircraft include 79 Lockheed Martin F-35s, 24 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, 12 Boeing F-15EX Advanced Eagles, 15 Boeing KC-46A tankers, nine Boeing/Bell V-22 Ospreys, 52 remanufactured Boeing AH-64E Apaches, seven Boeing CH-47 Chinooks, 36 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks, five Sikorsky VH-92 presidential helicopters, one Boeing P-8A reconnaissance aircraft, and seven Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters.
The budget proposes to increase the Army’s spending on future vertical lift by more than 20 percent, to $1.1 billion, including $514 million for the future attack and reconnaissance aircraft (FARA). Notably, the budget also includes $106.6 billion for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), an all-time high. Proposed spending in this area includes $3.2 billion for hypersonics; $1.5 billion for microelectronics, including 5G; $1.7 billion for autonomy; and $841 million for artificial intelligence.
Deputy defense secretary David Norquist said the budget “invests in bringing the capabilities of tomorrow to life” and places the U.S. on course to “develop a future force that will prevail in each and every domain.”