April 10, 2013
Credit: U.S. Navy
While proposed U.S. Navy aircraft procurement funding is set to hold steady in fiscal 2014, the service’s aircraft depot maintenance accounts are slated to take a nosedive and maintenance backlogs will balloon.
Navy spending for aircraft procurement has remained relatively flat—$17.6 billion in fiscal 2012, $17.1 billion in fiscal 2013 and $17.9 billion proposed for fiscal 2014—according to the service’s proposed fiscal 2014 spending proposal.
Meanwhile, aircraft depot maintenance, which dropped from about $1.17 billion in fiscal 2012 to about $1.16 billion in fiscal 2013, is proposed for another dip to about $916 million for fiscal 2014.
The decrease carries with it some alarming trends.
First, the percent funded of the total requirement is similarly dropping—from 100% in fiscal 2012 to 94% in fiscal 2013 to 79% in the proposed fiscal 2014 spending plan.
That all correlates to a growing backlog of work that needs to be done.
For example, the yearly backlog of airframes jumped from one in fiscal 2012 to 14 in fiscal 2013 and then catapults to 206 for fiscal 2014.
For engines, it’s much the same—with a backlog of 11 in fiscal 2012 to 273 in fiscal 2013 to 532 in fiscal 2014.
The fiscal 2014 backlog numbers appear to be well above the “manageable” levels cited by the Navy.