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Without additional $157 million, US Army aviation readiness projected to suffer

WASHINGTON ? Without an additional $157 million, U.S. Army aviation readiness could suffer, according to an omnibus reprogramming request sent to Capitol Hill on June 25. The Army is asking congressional defense committees to approve the injection of $157 million into Army aviation readiness drawn from other fiscal 2019 accounts to fill a funding gap.

?Funds are required to support Army flight training, which includes rotary wing flight instructor support, repair parts, fuel, simulations, and maintenance of Army flight training aircraft,? the document states.

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Future of Army Aviation Funding Remains Murky

The Army has ambitious plans to acquire next-generation aircraft as it gears up for great power competition. But uncertainty about future vertical lift programs and other modernization efforts leaves an unclear picture of what lies ahead, analysts say.

The service has about 4,300 piloted aircraft, most of which are helicopters, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The H-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apaches and H-47 Chinooks account for most of the rotary wing platforms.

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Unmanned Systems Cited as Key by Future of Aviation Panelists

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. ? Future naval aviation will benefit from the fifth-generation F-35s, manned-unmanned teaming and the possibility of greatly enhanced rotary wing aircraft being developed under the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, a panel of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officials said.

The naval services also are focusing on improving the readiness of their existing aircraft, and some types of aircraft are coming close to meeting the 80% readiness goal set by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the officials told a forum on the future of naval aviation at the Navy League?s annual Sea-Air-Space exposition May 6.

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