The US Air Force’s (USAF) FY2018 budget request to Congress seeks $132.4 billion to support readiness, nuclear deterrence and space and cyber capabilities. Also included is a 2.1% pay hike for uniformed personnel (1.9% for civilian employees).
Among specific equipment acquisition requests are 46 F-35A LIGHTNING IIs and 15 KC-46 PEGASUS aircraft, alongside continued investment in modernising the service’s fourth- and fifth-generation platforms. The budget will fund two additional F-16 training squadrons, 60 UAS combat lines, an intercontinental ballistic missile programme and a revitalised space procurement strategy, including four evolved expendable launch vehicle services.
The space strategy will also include further development of the space-based infrared system, modernisation of secure satellite communications and the fielding of a space battle management C2 capability. Cyber security has a high profile in the funding requests, and the Air Force is planning to maximise munitions production capacity in order to sustain global precision attack capabilities.