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Obama’s proposed defense budget would reduce P-8A program

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.

The White House’s 2015 budget request appears to cancel or reduce several defense programs, and if approved would mean a reduction in the number of P-8As to the Navy.

That would affect Spirit AeroSystems.

The 2015 fiscal year requested budget cuts the number of Boeing supplied P-8As in half, from an earlier plan of 16 to eight, a reduction of $1.5 billion, according to an analysis by Wells Fargo Securities.

The P-8A patrol aircraft is based on a Boeing commercial 737 platform. Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita builds the plane’s fuselage.

The budget trims funding for the development of Boeing’s KC-46 tanker for the Air Force by $330 million.

In all, Boeing saw a net decrease in funding across its major defense programs of about $2.4 billion, according to the Wells Fargo report.

The budget includes no funding for the Navy’s F/A-18 fighter jet or the E/A-18 electronic attack aircraft.

“Boeing fared reasonably well in the FY2015 budget request, but the end of F/A and EA-18 fighter aircraft is a concern and implies production will end in 2016 absent a change in the production rate,” the Wells Fargo report said.

In the request, the Department of Defense budget totals $496 billion.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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