Air Force’s Unfunded Priorities List Includes $921M for 7 More F-35s

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The U.S. Air Force submitted to Congress its unfunded priorities list worth $4.6 billion, including $921 million for seven additional F-35 fighter jets, Air Force Magazine reported Friday.

The service requested to procure 33 F-35s in its fiscal year 2023 proposed budget, down from a total of 48 aircraft units it bought in FY 2022 and down from 60 jets in FY 2021.

“The Air Force unfunded list would add just seven F-35 jets, less than half of what’s needed to match the 48 requested in each of the past three years,” said Bruce Wright, a retired Air Force lieutenant general and president of the Air & Space Forces Association.

“Indeed, in 2020 and 2021, Congress increased the Air Force request from 48 to 60 and we would urge lawmakers to do the same in 2023,” added Wright.

Other unfunded priorities in the Air Force’s list are weapons systems sustainment, EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft and hypersonic testing with F-15s, F-16s and B-52s.

The Space Force’s FY 2023 unfunded priorities list requested $327 million in funds for classified programs, $200 million for missile warning and missile tracking systems and $112 million for weapons systems sustainment efforts.

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