The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, released by the committee late Thursday, would provide for $715.9 billion in spending, according to a summary produced by the committee.
The total includes $617.6 billion in discretionary Defense Department spending, $68.5 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations, and $8.2 billion for defense activities outside the proposal’s purview. It would also include $21.6 billion for Energy Department activities.
That total compares with $717 billion provided for in the House version of the bill, which passed that chamber Thursday.
The Senate committee’s bill emphasizes modernization for a “combat-credible joint force,” the summary states.
”In the new era of great power competition, our warfighters must be prepared to fight and win in contested environments against peer competitors,“ the committee said.
Key provisions include language that would authorize $7.6 billion for 75 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, two fewer than the Trump Administration requested.
The bill includes $4.2 billion for 47 F-35As, $2.4 billion for 20 F-35Bs, and $1 billion for eight F-35Cs. It increases funding for F-35 spare parts, modifications, and repair capabilities to “establish a solid sustainment base before the steep ramp of production overwhelms the enterprise’s ability to sustain the aircraft,” the summary states. It also fully funds Block 4 continuous capability development and delivery, and requires that Congress be informed every quarter on the status of the F-35 program.
The bill would bar retirement of any E-8C Joint STARS aircraft while also increasing funding for the Advanced Battle Management System, which is the JSTARS replacement program.
The bill would also authorize $2.3 billion for 14 KC-46 tankers, one fewer than the administration has requested, and $350 million for Air Force light attack aircraft and long lead material.
The proposal would also fund development of the B-21 bomber at an undisclosed cost?, and provide for multiyear procurement for the C-130J program. On A-10 wing replacement, the bill would authorize $144.2 million, $65 million more than the administration requested.