Joint Strike Fighter
The F/A-18E/F improves range and payload capabilities compared to the F/A-18C/D, but it will not be nearly as survivable as either the A-12 or the A/F-X would have been. Accordingly, the committee strongly supports the Navy's participation in the JSF program to meet its longer-term force structure and modernization requirements and believes that the JSF will be more cost and operationally effective than any previous Naval aircraft when it enters service with the fleet. Therefore, the committee recommends an increase of $20.0 million in PE63800N to accelerate development of the Naval variant of the JSF, as explained elsewhere in this report. The budget request contained $448.9 million in PE 63800N for Navy portion of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.
The committee is concerned that, although this request represents an increase of almost 100 percent in funding for Navy JSF participation over fiscal year 1997 levels, it is based on schedule, cost, and quantity objectives that no longer reflect the Department's plans for Navy tactical aircraft as outlined in the recently released Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The committee understands that the QDR proposes a major increase in Navy JSF aircraft quantities from the level anticipated in the 1997 Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) and supports efforts to accelerate the Navy portion of JSF. The committee recommends an increase of $20.0 million and directs the Secretary of Defense to use the increase in funding to ensure that JSF meets all Navy requirements and to enable this program to support a significantly increased quantity of Navy JSF aircraft.
The committee is also concerned that the 1997 FYDP does not reflect adequate funding within the JSF program to continue development of the alternative fighter engine (AFE) beyond the current demonstration/validation phase. The committee continues to believe that a fully developed and flight tested AFE is essential to reduce risk to the JSF program and to provide credible competition necessary for controlling program cost. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a report to the Congressional defense committees no later than February 15, 1998, detailing the level of funding within the JSF program that is identified to fund full development and flight test of the AFE.
Air Force RDT&E
The budget request contained $458.1 million in PE 63800F
for the Air Force portion of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). As
mentioned elsewhere in this report, the committee is extremely
concerned that the current pace of the Department's tactical
aviation programs is both unaffordable and not coordinated with
the emerging Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The committee
notes that this request represents an increase of $27.0 million
over the projected funding for JSF identified in the 1997
Future Years Defense Plan and recommends $431.1 million, a
decrease of $27.0 million.
Defense Agencies RDT&E
The budget request contained $23.9 million in PE 63800E for continued development of the Joint Strike Fighter. The committee understands that defense-wide funding for this program has been transferred to the Navy and Air Force research and development accounts, and, therefore, recommends no funds be authorized in defense-wide research and development accounts for this program.
See EXCERPTS - [Acquisition Programs]- House National Security Committee Report on the NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1998
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