Budget Funds T-X

Though Air Force budget documents released Monday did not call out funding for the new T-X trainer, “It’s in there … at the BCA level,” Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said in an interview with Air Force Magazine. The BCA is the Budget Control Act, or sequester-level of funding. “T-X is kind of existential to us, and it’s time we do this, so it’s included in the budget,” he said. Welsh said a choice of a platform will be made in Fiscal 2018, and initial operational capability is planned for 2023. An Air Force spokeswoman said the T-X is funded for $628 million across the Future Years’ Defense Plan. In Fiscal 2016 and 2017, planned spending is $11.4 million and $12.2 million, respectively. In Fiscal 2018, the figure balloons to $17.2 million, more than doubling in FY’19 funding to $262.8 million. The fiscal year 2020 figure is $275.9 million. The spokeswoman said the strategy is to “take advantage of existing and emerging industry-developed aircraft to reduce the cost and time to field the T-X.”