Perchance to SLEP

The Air Force’s Fiscal 2012 spending plan doesn’t have any money in it for buying kits to perform a service life-extension program on some of the service’s F-16 fighters, but does provide $25 million for studies of a “potential SLEP,” and “defining what it would mean,” said USAF budget director Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers in a Pentagon briefing. Flowers also said that if USAF must operate under a continuing resolution for Fiscal 2011, it doesn’t have the authority to launch a program to equip its F-15s with advanced radars. “We are worried” about that, Flowers said, because without the new radars, “we are at risk of having to ground some aircraft in the future.”