“The fiscal 2014 budget provides optimized capability within fiscal constraints,” the Navy says in budget documents. “Additional supplemental funding would increase the funding percentage and decrease the yearly backlog.”
The airframe maintenance workload is calendar-based, while engine maintenance is based on planned flight hours. Any airframe or engine not completed from the previous years are carried over as backlog and are not ready for use until repaired.
A one-year backlog is the threshold for what can be effectively accomplished with no additional tooling, equipment or space, the Navy says.
“The manageable one-year backlog is about 100 airframes and 340 engines across the active and reserve components,” the Navy says in budget documents. “But the actual threshold varies according to the mixture of type/model/series.”
When it comes to procurement, the Navy is keen on the EA-18G Growler — the service wants to buy 21 of the jamming aircraft in fiscal 2014 for about $2 billion, compared to the 12 procured in fiscal 2013 for about half that amount.
“There are a lot of changes for the F-18s,” Rear Adm. Joseph Mulloy, ssumed deputy assistant Navy secretary for budget, said April 10 during a briefing on the Navy’s fiscal 2014 plan. “Most of it is good news if you’re Boeing.”
The Navy also is proposing a cut in MQ-8 Fire Scout spending to about $61 million in fiscal 2014, compared to about $124.6 million in fiscal 2013. The service is now evaluating what Fire Scout attributes it needs for deployment on later-model Littoral Combat Ships, Mulloy says.
The Navy also is buying 16 more P-8A Poseidons for maritime patrol antisubmarine warfare for about $3.8 billion, which is three more aircraft that requested in fiscal 2013, which included 13 P-8As for about $3.3 billion.
For continuing, through-the-day coverage of the U.S. budget rollout, Aviation Week Intelligence Network subscribers should click here to visit our Fiscal 2014 budget digest page often, where the Aviation Week editorial team will post expert coverage and analysis.