It said the cuts would slash $40 billion from the Pentagon's
planned spending on operations and maintenance over that time, while
research and development of new cutting-edge technologies would fall
by nearly $18 billion from $337 billion.
The Defense Department said the cuts required under a process called
sequestration would damage the military's modernization efforts,
increase national security risks, further slash troop levels and
jeopardize the ability of U.S. forces to go to war.
"If sequestration-level cuts persist, our forces will assume
substantial additional risks in certain missions and will continue
to face significant readiness and modernization challenges," the
Pentagon said in the report.
It said the cuts would leave the military unbalanced and eventually
too small to meet the needs of the Obama administration's military
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other top military officials have
repeatedly urged Congress to reverse the cuts passed as part of the
Budget Control Act, arguing that they came on top of nearly $600
billion in cuts already being implemented by the U.S. military.
If U.S. lawmakers do not repeal the mandatory budget cuts, the Air
Force would have to eliminate its entire fleet of KC-10 refueling
planes and divest its entire fleet of the Block 40 version of
Northrop Grumman Corp's Global Hawk unmanned surveillance planes,
the report said.
The Air Force would buy 15 fewer F-35 fighter jets in fiscal
2016-2017, five fewer KC-46A refueling planes built by Boeing Co in
fiscal 2017-2018, and a new combat rescue helicopter to be built by
Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp, would be
delayed until fiscal 2019.
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The Navy would be forced to mothball six destroyers and retire an
aircraft carrier and its associated air wing, reducing the carrier
fleet to 10, the report said.
It would delay six orders for Boeing's P-8A surveillance planes,
increasing the cost of the remaining aircraft and raise the cost of
maintaining the older P-3 aircraft.
The Navy would also buy eight fewer ships, including one fewer
Virginia-class submarine built by General Dynamics Corp and
Huntington Ingalls Industries, and three fewer DDG-51 destroyers,
built by the same two companies.
The report said the Army would buy 61 fewer Black Hawk helicopters
built by Sikorsky, 67 fewer Apache helicopters built by Boeing and
would eliminate funding for a fourth brigade set of double-V hull
Stryker vehicles built by General Dynamics.
The Marine Corps's new CH-53K helicopter being developed by Sikorsky
would be delayed by one year, with seven fewer aircraft to be built
for savings of about $1 billion, the report said.
It said the cuts would also delay work on a new amphibious combat
vehicle to replace the 40-year-old vehicles now used by the Marines.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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