Earlier this week, we took a look at how the Army fares under defense funding in the President’s FY 2012 budget proposal.
Defense contracting expert and McAleese and Associates founder Jim McAleese joins us with numbers for the Navy and Air Force.
“The Navy’s actually going to do quite well,” McAleese began.
McAleese told Federal News Radio the Navy, with $176 billion overall, there is some good news in the tightening budget for some programs.
For example, McAleese first pointed to two programs funded under Navy’s modernization, starting with the F-35 Carrier Variant and the F-35 short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) receiving $18 billion. A “big ticket” said McAleese and “good news for General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman.”
The McAleese mentioned the Ohio class replacement SSBN-X program’s growth to $1.1 billion and the “significant improvement” for the Navy’s Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) and Navy’s Unmanned Combat Aircraft System (N-UCAS).
Good news for Navy aircarft as well, said McAleese, which “came in strong at about $18.6 billion.”
Boeing will benefit from Navy buying 40 Super Hornet and Growler aircraft combined and an additional $3 billion in orders for the P-8 Poseidon.
Shipbuilding funding, said McAleese, “actually surprised me” by coming in strong “again” at about $15.5 billion, including funding for two Virginia class subs, restarting the DDG-51 and doubing Littoral Combat Ship orders to four for about $4 billion.
The Marines did particularly well, noted McAleese “with amphibs,” including the LHA-R – Landing Helicopter Assault Replacement.
The only loser to watch, said McAleese is the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. The “good news for the Marines is they were able to salvage the $2.6 billion dollars” and put it in to the amphib fleet.
With $150 billion in base funding and an additional $16 billion for OCO, McAleese said there are three programs to watch:
F-35 conventional take-off program which is being restructured,
The Tanker – $880 million. Expect an award in early March, but it’s “too close to call a winner at this time,” and
Long Range Strike – “She’s going to be stood up in the budget in 2012 at about $200 million dollars with about a total of $3.5 billion dollars over the total 2012 to 2016 plan.”
Aircraft procurement, said McAleese was a big winner this year with $14 billion dollars, with $2.6 billion over 2010 “once you pull out the Congressional adds for the C-17 aircraft.”
What to Watch
One last thing to be aware of, said McAleese: “I want to watch carefully to see how the Congress reacts to the space programs.”
He said the Air Force generally spends about $10 billion in space. Under a new program called the Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency (EASE), which uses what the Air Force calls a “modified annual funding approach” based on incremental funding, “what you’re going to find is even though space funding looks like it’s flat in 2012, it’s actually going way up because what they’re going to be doing is they’re going to be ordering the first downpayments on two AEHF, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites, those are Lockheed (and) Northrop’s. They’re also going to be doing Space-Based Infrare SBIRS.”
Overall, McAleese said he expects there to be more than adequate resourcing “to be able to make sure that we’re supporting the immediate fight, and to make sure that competitors, whether they’re China, Iran, Korea, know that the U.S. is serious for many many decades to come.”
This story is part of Federal News Radio’s daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-8 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.