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Marine Corps wish list: $877M for six extra F-35 fighters

Marine Corps wish list: $877M for six extra F-35 fighters
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The Marine Corps’ nearly $3.2 billion “wish list” sent to Congress last week asks for extra helicopters and F-35 fighter jets, according to the document obtained by The Hill.

The vast majority of the list — unfunded weapons, equipment, infrastructure and development activities the Marine Corps wants for fiscal 2018 that weren't included in its budget proposal last month — asks for aviation needs, about $2.36 billion worth.

About $617 million would go toward four more F-35B joint strike fighters and spare parts, $260 million for two F-35C fighters and $355 million for four KC-130J aerial refueling tankers, all made by Lockheed Martin.  

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An additional $288 million is wanted for two CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift cargo helicopters, made by Lockheed-owned Sikorsky Aircraft.

The Marines also want nearly $228 million for two Boeing-made Clipper transport aircraft, $220.5 million for seven AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, produced by Bell Helicopter, $181 million for two Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey assault support aircraft and $67 million for four UC-12W Huron transport aircraft.

The list also includes $487.7 million for ground combat items and infrastructure, including more munitions, equipment, surveillance systems and facilities sustainment. The list does not include additional vehicles.

In addition, the Marines want $332 million for naval needs, including $312 million for five ship-to-shore connector vessels, and $17 million for one mine countermeasure unmanned surface vehicle.

Congress asks for unfunded lists from each military service every year. The documents help guide lawmakers as they work through the budget requests and form policy and spending bills. 

The Navy sent its list to lawmakers in late May, as did the Air Force and the Army. The Coast Guard is expected to send its list by the end of June.