Lawmakers back F-15EX buy, propose add-ins for F-35, C-130J fleets

May 14, 2019 at 11:43 AM

House appropriators are backing an Air Force plan to buy new fourth-generation fighters and are proposing adding 12 F-35s and four C-130Js to the Pentagon's fiscal year 2020 budget request, according to a draft spending bill released today.

In the House Appropriations defense subcommittee's draft legislation, lawmakers propose buying 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and a total of 16 C-130J aircraft. The subcommittee would also fully fund the Air Force's request to buy eight F-15EX aircraft to recapitalize the F-15 fleet.

The draft bill language doesn't note how the extra JSF aircraft would be divided between the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

The additional four C-130Js would go to the Air Force Reserve. A bipartisan group of 63 lawmakers sent House leadership a letter last week urging an increase of eight C-130Js for the Air National Guard and Reserve fleets and consistent future funding to continue the recapitalization as a program of record.