Munitions Dominate Procurement

To offset heavy use of “preferred” munitions in anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria, the Air Force is making a big push to restock in the Fiscal 2017 budget. The request asks for very large quantities of munitions in both the base budget and the overseas contingency operations budget. USAF asked for about 30,600 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, of which 18,531 are in the OCO request. Though the base budget requests only 284 Hellfire missiles—the preferred weapon on remotely piloted aircraft—the OCO request includes 1,252. However, that’s lower than the FY16 enacted budget for a combined 6,253 Hellfires. The JASSM-ER, the extended-range version of the stealthy conventional standoff missile, was requested at 360 rounds, up from 240 last year. USAF requested 312 Small Diameter Bombs in the base budget and 4,195 in the OCO. The request for AIM-9X Sidewinder dogfight missiles was halved from the FY16 level, coming in at 287 rounds, while the request for AIM-120D radar dogfight missiles was essentially unchanged from last year, six rounds fewer than the enacted ’16 level of 262 missiles. Altogether, in the combined base and OCO budgets, USAF asked for 37,600 munitions, up from the 31,500 rounds it received in the FY16 budget.