President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2021 defense budget proposal would reduce procurement of several major aviation and naval platforms, but lawmakers will likely reverse those cuts, analysts say.
"The president's budget request is simply the first move in what is a long chess game that plays out over the course of this year," said Doug Berenson, managing director at Avascent.
"The Congress will have the next series of moves. Based on their recent behavior [and] their long-time behavior, we think the Congress is going to... restore many of the programs that DoD proposed to cut in the FY21 request. Procurement of aircraft and ships are probably top of that list," he added during a webinar hosted by Avascent and Bloomberg Intelligence.
The fiscal proposal includes: $11.4 billion for 79 F-35 joint strike fighters, down from the 81 planned in last year's request; $1.6 billion for 12 F-15EX fighters, down from 18 planned in last year's budget; $1.5 billion for seven CH-53K King Stallion helicopters, down from 12 planned last year; no money for MQ-9 Reaper drones, down from nine platforms in last year's blueprint; and no funding for MQ-4 Triton drones, down from two aircraft in last year's plan.
Additionally, the administration requested $4.7 billion for just one Virginia-class submarine, one less than planned in last year's budget; and $3.5 billion for only...