The Axe Man Cometh, Again

To meet spending caps imposed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Fiscal 2011 and beyond, the Air Force proposes cancelling the C-130 avionics modernization program, foregoing new engines on E-8C ground-surveillance aircraft, and cutting major items like new radio systems, communications satellites, small diameter bombs, and Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, Bloomberg news wire service reported Wednesday. Citing Air Staff planning documents, Bloomberg says the Air Force’s moves are intended to shed $24.2 billion, or about 3.8 percent of its projected five-year budget, while protecting funding for the F-35, CV-22, and its future tanker aircraft. (As we learned in July, all the services will be looking for future year cuts.) We’ve reported that some of these efforts, like the future of C-130 AMP and E-8C re-engining, have been under scrutiny in the context of broader force structure and strategy reviews.