Air Force officially cancels Open Skies aircraft recap program

By Sara Sirota / July 14, 2020 at 3:34 PM

The Air Force has officially canceled its program to recapitalize the two OC-135B aircraft that perform observation flights in support of the Open Skies Treaty mission, according to a notice released to industry today.

The announcement follows the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the treaty in May -- much to the dismay of powerful Democrats. The White House and Republican lawmakers justified the move, citing violations by Russia.

In a report accompanying its mark of the fiscal year 2021 defense spending bill, the House Appropriations defense subcommittee condemns the decision and states it will not approve any attempt to reprogram appropriated funds. The panel further recommends rescinding $158 million in FY-19 and FY-20 funding for the program.

The full committee approved the bill today by a 30-22 vote.