Lawmakers had previously stipulated financial support for 11 Lockheed Martin F-35s and 14 Boeing F-18s. The latest version of the 2017 NDAA not only removes support for the 25 aircraft, but also leaves out language that would have boosted funding for helicopters, missiles, "and other essential equipment," according to a Heritage Foundation brief.
The bill provides a 2.1-percent pay raise for active service members, to adjust for higher living costs, while stifling attempts to reduce the number of Army and Marine troops, Heritage adds. In total, the bill authorizes $618.7 billion in defense funding, including $3.2 billion for Readiness Stabilization Funding to stop the shrinking of the military.
"We reform the way the Pentagon buys weapons to get cutting-edge capabilities in the hands of our troops faster. We stop the shrinking of the force, and allow the services to grow again so that they can better meet their demanding deployment schedule," Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a November 30 statement.