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Planes, helicopters and UAVs. Resources for NASA are reconfirmed in Trump's budget proposal for 2018. US Defense contractors are favored

Washington, USA - Military expenses would increase by 53 billion dollars (+9%) respect to 2017, drastical cuts on agricolture, environment and health. Concerns also among Republican Party

More resources for planes, helicopters, UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and other devices for defence were arranged by the government of the US President Donald Trump in the 2018 budget proposal which was presented last Thursday in its outline. Funds increase for the departments of Veterans Affairs, of Homeland Security and of Defense, this last one with a +9% (+53 billion dollars compared with 2017). Significant cuts were proposed instead for Environmental Protection -the responsible agency will see its funding reduced by 31% compared to 2017-, the departments of Agricolture and Labor (-21% each), Health and Human Services (-18%) and Education (-14%). Trump -who also appointed a manager from Boeing as US Defense deputy secretary on Thursday (see AVIONEWS)- earmarked 13.5 billion dollars for military provisions and modernization, including more Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, F-35 and F/A-18 fighter planes, tactical missiles, UAVs, THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile systems and the DDG-51 destroyer which was already partially funded in 2016. The USA government recently signed a five-year 3.4 billion dollar worth deal with Boeing to buy 244 Apache remanufactured helicopters (for further details see AVIONEWS). Some politicians from the Republican Party expressed their concern about some of the budget cuts and underlined that what was proposed is just the beginning of the path that will bring to the final budget which shall be discussed by the US Congress. Financial resources that should remain similar to those of recent years were confirmed for NASA. Its acting administrator Robert Lightfoot showed his appreciation in an official statement that was released on March 16. Even if he knows that a long way must be done before getting to the final budget and that more details will be available in May, the present proposal will allow NASA to execute its "core mission for the Nation, even during these times of fiscal costraint", to continue its work with the industry to "send humans deeper into space" and to continue innovating in aeronautics and exploring the universe. Anyway funds could be reallocated to some projects with cuts or cancellations for other ones, like the ARM (Asteroid Redirect Mission) program -a mission to reach a near-Earth asteroid, change its route and position it into a stable orbit around the Moon- the results of which that were achieved so far on solar electric propulsion shall not be wasted but will be used in future research.

AVIONEWS - 1203109

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