Combat Aircraft Dominate FY23 USAF Aircraft Funding

By Shaun Mcdougall

The final negotiated Congressional Appropriations Bill was just released earlier this week, revealing the final numbers for the 2023 fiscal year (FY23). The bill adds $3.7 billion for U.S. Air Force (USAF) aircraft, increasing total aircraft funding from the FY23 Request’s $18.5 billion to $22.2 billion.

Here is what that increase looks like.

In particular, the legislation added the following:

  • 11 F-35A Fighters
  • 16 C-130J Transport Aircraft
  • 10 HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters
  • Four EC-37B Compass Call Aircraft
  • One Pale Ale Maritime Patrol Aircraft

In this bill, Combat Aircraft funding continues to dominate the USAF aircraft budget, as detailed below.

As shown in the chart below, the sizable Combat Aircraft budget is largely due to the following:

  • The F-15, a short-term procurement program with funding winding down
  • The F-35, a long-term effort with sustained funding
  • The B-21 Raider, an effort with funding now ramping up, pushing total combat aircraft funding above recent historical trends

Additionally, the Aircraft Modifications budget remains strong despite the Air Force’s recent move to retire 150 legacy aircraft in FY23, as shown below.

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