WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Annual costs to replace the aging fleet of US military jets by the Air Force, Navy and Army will nearly double to $44 billion in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in a report on Tuesday.
“Overall, between 2000 and 2018, the Air Force’s budgets for procuring aircraft averaged $10 billion, compared with $11 billion for the Department of the Navy and $5 billion for the Army”, the report said. “In CBO’s projections, DoD’s costs for procuring aircraft increase steadily through the mid-2030s and peak at $44 billion in 2038”.
Two Air Force programs, the F-35A fighter, and the Penetrating Counter Air air-superiority aircraft, account for about $280 billion in procurement costs through 2050, more than a quarter of the Defence Department’s projected costs over the next 30 years, the report said.
The Navy’s most costly aviation procurement programs are, in order, a projected F/A-18E/F replacement aircraft, the Marine Corps’ F-35B and the F-35C for aircraft carriers, and a projected replacement for the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, the report added.
The Army’s most costly aviation programs are the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, expected to replace the Army’s H-60 Black Hawk helicopters, and the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, which may eventually replace the Army’s AH-64 Apache helicopters, according to the report.
CBO noted that all costs were expressed in 2018 dollars to remove the effects of inflation.