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Air Force Wins Big In Defense Spending Bill But Space Force $$ Whacked

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WASHINGTON: The Air Force came out smelling of roses in the 2020 minibus appropriations bill agreed to by the House and Senate yesterday, and passed by the House today.

Most of the service’s major programs were fully funded, and in some cases, were plumped up. But it didn’t win every battle for funding. Congressional appropriators almost cut in half funding for a signature element of the policy battle this year, the Space Force. The service’s request for $72.4 million to stand it up as a sixth branch of the US military got whacked to only $40 million. The NDAA did authorize the new force, which will be organized underneath the Air Force in a manner similar to how the Marine Corps is organized under the Navy.

According to a Senate Appropriations Committee summary, the bill:

Further, congressional appropriators gave the Air Force an additional $1.87 billion for 20 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and associated spare parts, including 14 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants. It also added six F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants, for a total of 98 F-35s. Interestingly, the NDAA authorized only 94 total F-35 fighters, including only 12 F-35As. 


This article was written by Theresa Hitchens from Breaking Defense and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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