div class=”story-para”Of the $515.4 billion the Bush administration is requesting for its final budget go-around, the U.S. Air Force expects to get a total of $143.9 billion in 2009, including $11.9 billion for space programs./div div class=”story-para”That’s up 6.9 percent from the $134.6 billion that Congress granted the air service for the current fiscal year, an increase Air Force officials said will largely go to cover the ever-increasing cost of fuel. /div div class=”story-para”At first glance, the Air Force request is more notable for what it does not include than for what it does. There is no funding to continue Boeing’s C-17 line, which could become a sore point between the Pentagon and Congress. /div div class=”story-para”Also absent from the request is funding for the development of a second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter program, another item Congress has long insisted should be included in the Pentagon’s budget plans./div div class=”story-para”There is also no financial resolution to the debate over the number of F-22 Raptors the Air Force needs. The request includes the already agreed-upon 20 planes included in the last round of multiyear procurement. But the request includes neither the additional aircraft the service insists it needs, nor funding to shut down the Lockheed Martin Raptor operation in Georgia./div div class=”story-para”While the overall budget request includes a $70 billion “emergency allowance” to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Air Force officials have said they have not yet been told how those funds will break down for the individual services. /div

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