The Air Force is currently in the middle of a major precision guided munitions shortage stretching back nearly four years — and according to the service's top general, budget jousting in Congress could prove "truly damaging" to the Pentagon's ability to fix the problem.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Department of Defense has a "handshake" agreement with Lockheed Martin Co to cut 8.8 percent from the price of its latest order of F-35A fighter jet, shaving a year from the time frame in which each aircraft will cost less than $80 million, a Pentagon official said on Monday.

The Pentagon said over three years the agreement will be worth $34 billion for 478 F-35 fighter jets. It is preliminary and a final deal is expected to be sealed in August for the 12th batch of jets, one of the most expensive aircraft ever produced.

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.S. Army Spc. Jonathan Pampell, a military intelligence mentor to the Afghan National Army (ANA), with the 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, walks past a group of wild dogs while on a patrol near Forward Operating Base Lightning, Paktya province, Afghanistan, Feb. 20, 2013. (U.S. Army/ Sgt. Aaron Ricca)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Pentagon has requested $22.95 billion for highly-classified military intelligence activities in fiscal year 2020, an increase of $2.25 billion over the previous year, the Defense Department said in a two-line statement Monday.

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The Army may bill its brand new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as a replacement to the much-maligned Humvee, but soldiers will remain stuck with the latter for the foreseeable future.

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The Pentagon's proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 contains a reversal of that old chestnut from Top Gun: When it's too far for guns, then switch to missiles.

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The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and ships assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) transit the Atlantic Ocean while conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on February 16, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford)

The U.S. Navy plans to retire one of its aircraft carriers decades early, a highly controversial move to free up funds for the new weapons needed to fight a powerful adversary.

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