There is a lot of talk happening in the skies as one airborne warrior got the word to go-ahead while another may end up getting cut completely. Reuters reported on Feb. 25, 2014, that Boeing has won the $2.1 billion contract to build 16 more P-8 spy planes for the U.S. Navy.
For Boeing, this is their first full-rate production contract for the new planes and it comes on the heels of Australia's decision to buy eight P-8A spy planes for $3.6 billion last week. This new contract is for 16 of the P-8A Poseidon long-range maritime spy planes.
These planes are set to replace the P-3 spy planes currently used by the United States Navy, and those have been going strong for over 40 years.
The order of 16 P-8 spy planes will bring the total number to 53 by April 2016.
On the flip side of things, the Department of Defense had put forth a proposal to completely get rid of the entire fleet of A-10 Thuderbolts (aka A-10 Warthogs) from the Air Force. That cut looks to be on hold though, and that is due to criticism that the loss could greatly affect military bases.
The 2015 budget for the Pentago has been greatly reduced in the Army and includes changes to benefits, military pay, and other moves as well. That entails the current level of 522,000 Army soldiers being cut to between 440,000 to 450,000 by 2019.
One of the main reasons that the Department of Defense wants the A-10 Warthog retired is simply because of cost. Retiring the some 300 plane force will save around $3.5 billion over the course of five years.
The Pentagon is looking to ground its force of U-2 spy planes too. Those would end up being replaced with a drone Global Hawk crew.