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Omnibus Spending Bill Includes Money for 15 Growlers, 12th San Antonio

An EA-18G Growler from the "Shadowhawks" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 prepares to make an arrested landing on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) in 2013 US Navy Photo

An EA-18G Growler from the “Shadowhawks” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 prepares to make an arrested landing on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) in 2013 US Navy Photo

The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill from Congress includes $1.46 billion for 15 Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft and $1 billion to start work on a 12th San Antonio-class (LPD-17) amphibious warship, according to a summary of the bill released late Tuesday.
The compromise bill agreed to by House and Senate appropriators and expected to pass both chambers will extend Boeing’s Super Hornet — the airframe on which the Growler is based — production line into 2017, according to Reuters.

The Navy gave Congress an unfunded wish list that asked for 22 Growlers at a cost of $2.14 billion. With the extra airframes, the Navy intends to expand its EA-18G squadrons from five aircraft up to seven.

The bill also gave the service $1 billion to start procurement on a 12th San Antonio-class amphibious warship — about half the total cost of the ship. The Marine Corps has been lobbying Congress and the Navy for the additional ship it says will act as a bridge to the next generation LX(R) amphibious warship which will be based on the San Antonio-hull.

Line items in the bill also fully fund the planned procurement of the Ohio-class Replacement Program ballistic missile submarine, fully funds the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) research and development efforts — despite restrictions in the parallel authorization bill — and includes $843 million to begin the refueling and complex overhaul of carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73).

The total Department of Defense funding included in the bill was $554.2 billion.

  • CharleyA

    Curious why the DoN’s F-35 plus-up wasn’t for F-35Bs? The Marines tried to get six more by requesting a transfer of OCO funding, but that scheme didn’t fly. I guess the seemingly flawless carrier trials sealed the deal (and prior years advance procurement.)

  • old guy

    No matter what happens in the US, shipyard welfare goes on!! We need another LPD-17 like an octopus needs another arm.We need the $$$$$$ to amplify our counter-swarm capability.

    • James B.

      The amphibious lift capability is still painfully limited, and LPDs have a way of being very useful for random things, including counter-swarms. In World War II, a number of LSTs were converted to be tenders for PT boats, and today an amphib could be converted to carry fast boats and attack helicopters as a swarm defense.

  • Secundius

    Eliminate the “Super Hornet’s” and concentrate on building more “Growler’s”. The Growler’s can do everything the Super Hornet can, and even more…

  • Secundius

    Convert all the old remaining Tarawa class Gator-Freighters, into either Hospital Ship’s or eliminate the “Flight Deck” and convert them into Arsenal Ship/Bombardment Ship’s…