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Report: House, Senate to Address F-35 Procurements, Missile Defense in Fiscal 2018 NDAA Reconciliation

House and Senate Armed Services panels are expected to address F-35 aircraft procurements, missile defense and size of the U.S. Army as they begin to reconcile this month their versions of the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the Washington Examiner reported Monday.

Both chambers’ NDAA versions reflect a $30 billion to $40 billion increase over President Donald Trump’s defense budget request for fiscal 2018.

The House panel proposed the acquisition of 87 Lockheed Martin-built F-35s, while the Senate committee’s NDAA covers the procurement of 94 fighter jets.

The upper chamber’s defense policy bill calls for additional 6,000 service personnel to the Army, while the House measure seeks to authorize a 17,000 increase to the service branch’s active duty, reserve and National Guard soldiers.

When it comes to missile defense budget, the lower chamber requested a $2.5 billion increase and the Senate proposed a $600 million funding hike for the Missile Defense Agency.

The House NDAA calls for the establishment of a separate Space Corps within the U.S. Air Force, a provision that was barred in the Senate’s defense policy measure.

The joint House-Senate conference committee needs to reconcile differences in their defense policy bills and send to Congress a final NDAA measure before the current continuing resolution expires in December, the report added.

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