The House Appropriations Defense subcommittee budget proposal released Tuesday allocates $8.7 billion for 12 additional purchases of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighters while also including the Pentagon’s request for new Boeing F-15X Eagle fighters, according to a Bloomberg Government report.
The House bill funds 90 fifth-generation F-35s and eight fourth-generation F-15Xs.
DOD’s fiscal 2020 budget request in March called for 78 F-35s and eight F-15Xs, which raised concerns in Congress over Pentagon competition between the two aircraft.
Lawmakers in both parties have said the number of F-35s needs to be higher and that the U.S. should fully commit to the newer fighters.
The advanced F-35 is the most expensive Pentagon weapons program and includes the support of powerful lawmakers who will determine their numbers in the fiscal 2020 defense budget.
“We need more F-35s. I’m on that side,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Air Force by Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson