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Senate Panel’s FY 2022 Defense Policy Bill Markup Adds Funds to Buy 6 More F-35s

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F-35 Fighter Jets
F-35 Fighter Jets

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) proposed additional funding for the procurement of six more Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jets in its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022, Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.

The Senate panel’s NDAA markup would add $85 million in funds to procure one additional F-35A for the U.S. Air Force and $535 million for five more F-35C carrier landing jets used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

SASC also proposed $1.7 billion to facilitate Block 4 upgrades of the Air Force’s 338 aircraft with the integration of the technology refresh 3 hardware; $246.6 million to buy additional ground support and spares for F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing jets used by the Marines; $175 million to purchase 20 F-135 power modules; and $20 million for the F-35 continuous capability and delivery initiative.

The committee would also transfer from the Department of Defense’s joint program office to the departments of the Air Force and Navy the acquisition authority for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program no later than Oct. 1, 2027. The Senate panel also requires DOD to submit to Congress a plan to facilitate the transition by Oct. 1, 2022.

The House passed the $778 billion FY 2022 NDAA in a 316-113 vote Thursday.