Household Goods Payments. The law allows the military to write future contracts with companies who pick up and transport household goods to require full reimbursement (replacement value) for loss and damage.
Military Equipment. On the equipment side, the bill authorizes $1.7 billion in research and development funding for the Army's Future Combat Systems program. It allots $2.9 billion for 42 Navy and Marine Corps' FA-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The bill has $3.5 billion for 22 Air Force F/A-22 Raptor aircraft, and $4.4 billion for the multi-service Joint Strike Fighter program.
The bill forged a compromise on aerial refueling. The Air Force proposed leasing 100 Boeing 767 aircraft as tankers. The compromise calls for the service to lease the first 20 aircraft and buy the rest outright. Officials estimate this will save the American taxpayers $4 billion over the life of the aircraft. The compromise allows the Air Force to begin replacing the aging fleet of KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft. The first KC-767s will be delivered in fiscal year 2006.
The bill addresses the gap in strategic airlift by putting $2 billion toward delivery of 11 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
The V-22 Osprey program receives $872.2 million for continued development, including nine aircraft for the Marine Corps and two for the Air Force.
Again in fiscal 2004, unmanned aerial vehicle programs are doing well. The Air Force Global Hawk is slated for $40.2 million, while the UAV receives $211.6 million for 16 systems. Congress included an additional $18 million in the request for a turboprop version of the Predator.
The Army's Shadow Tactical UAV will receive $73.8 million for eight systems, and an additional $12.4 million for continued research.
In shipbuilding, $1.2 billion is slated for advanced procurement of the CVN-21 next-generation aircraft carrier. Full funding for the carrier is planned by fiscal 2007, but the ship will not join the fleet until 2013.
The budget also puts aside $1 billion for continued research for the DD(X) an experimental warship that will be the test bed for the Littoral Combat Ship and the future cruiser.
The bill authorizes $3.2 billion for three more Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and $1.2 billion for another LPD-17 San Antonio-class ship.
The authorization bill sets aside $1.5 billion for another Virginia-class attack submarine and $1 billion for another boat in fiscal 2005.
Some of the Above Information Courtesy of DOD