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House OKs $675B Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal 2019

The House voted 359-49 Thursday to pass a $675 billion defense policy bill that would authorize the purchase of 93 F-35 fighter aircraft, three littoral combat ships and two aircraft carriers for fiscal 2019, Defense News reported Thursday.

The defense appropriations bill would fund the Advanced Battle Management System that seeks to replace the U.S. Air Force’s Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization program and provide service personnel with a 2.6 percent pay increase by January.

The measure, which would also add 15,600 personnel to the service branches’ end strength, does not include a proposal to purchase two additional submarines and an amendment that would have allocated $1.7 billion in additional funds for long-lead materials needed to construct three Virginia-class submarines each year.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved its version of the bill, which is now awaiting a full Senate vote.

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