DoD asks for more money and cyber mission
US Army’s budget backs modernization
USAF to mothball dozens of A-10s
US Navy budget prioritizes readiness
Space Force seeks budget increase
DoD Releases the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Budget
28 May 21. The Department of Defense Releases the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Budget
Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget
“As the Secretary of Defense, my chief priority is defending America from enemies foreign and domestic and ensuring our troops remain the world’s preeminent fighting force. President Biden’s FY 2022 Defense Budget meets this commitment with critical investments to help us match resources to strategy, strategy to policy, and policy to the will of the American people. The budget provides us the mix of capabilities we need most and stays true to our focus on the pacing challenge from the People’s Republic of China, combating the damaging effects of climate change on our military installations, and modernizing our capabilities to meet the advanced threats of tomorrow. Importantly, this budget invests in our people, the brave women and men in uniform around the world who serve on behalf of this great nation.” – Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III
The Biden-Harris Administration today submitted to Congress the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget request of $752.9bn for national defense, $715bn of which is for the Department of Defense (DOD). The FY 2022 Defense Budget submission reflects President Biden’s priorities to end the “forever wars,” invest in cutting-edge capabilities for our military and national security advantage in the future, and revitalize America’s unmatched network of alliances and partnerships.
The United States military faces substantial challenges, emanating from countries like China and Russia, and from threats to global security, such as from climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget addresses these challenges, and others, by making key investments that defend our nation, while innovating and modernizing, taking care of our warfighters, and building strong relationships with our allies and partners alongside other elements of national security.
The FY 2022 Defense Budget reflects the President’s national security values and priorities. It is a strategy-based budget aligned with the President’s Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, which emphasizes:
- A solemn obligation to protect the security of the American people.
- Enduring interest in expanding economic prosperity and opportunity.
- A commitment to realizing and defending the democratic values at the heart of the American way of life.
To meet these goals, the budget request:
- Takes a broader approach to national security to address threats such as climate change, Covid-19, and extremism.
- Makes smart and disciplined choices regarding our national defense, particularly by aligning our resources to evolving threats.
- Addresses strategic competition with China through calculated defense investments.
The FY 2022 President’s Budget request of $715bn when compared to the FY 2021 enacted amount of $703.7bn, reflects a 1.6% increase. Importantly, the requested amount reflects a shift in resources to match priorities. For the Navy and Air Force, there are additional investments to address strategic competition with China. For the Army, the request reflects the President’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan prior to the beginning of FY 2022.
For the first time since September 11, 2001, DOD direct war and enduring operation costs are included within the base budget request, rather than as a separate Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) request.
The Department’s FY 2022 Budget ensures that the Department will defend the nation, which includes funding for:
- COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness – over $500m
- Pacific Deterrence Initiative – $5.1bn
- Preparing for, adapting to and mitigating climate change – $617m
The Department’s FY 2022 Budget focuses innovation and modernization. Nuclear Modernization ($27.7 bn). Investments include:
- B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber – $3bn
- COLUMBIA Class Ballistic Missile Submarine – $5bn
- Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) Missile – $609m
- Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) – $2.6bn
Missile Defeat and Defense ($20.4 bn). Investments include:
- Sea-Based Interceptors (SM-3 IIA and SM-3 IB) – $647m
- Sea-Based Ballistic Missile Defense System (AEGIS BMD) – $1bn
- Ground-Based Midcourse (GMD) and Improved Homeland Defense/Next Generation Interceptors (NGI) – $1.7bn
- Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Ballistic Missile Defense – $562m
- Patriot Advanced Capability Missile Segment Enhancement – $777m
Long Range Fires ($6.6 bn). Investments include:
- Includes funds to develop and field multi-Service, multi-domain offensive Long Range Fires
Science and Technology and Advanced Capability Enablers. Investments include:
- Largest ever RDT&E request – $112bn
- Science and Technology – $14.7bn
- Microelectronics – $2.3bn
- Artificial Intelligence – $874m
- 5G – $398m
Lethal Air Forces ($52.4 bn). Investments include:
- 85 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters – $12bn
- 14 KC-46 Tanker Replacements – $2.5 bn
- 9 CH-53K King Stallion – $1.7bn
- 12 F-15EX – $1.5bn
- 30 AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopters – $825m
Combat Effective Naval Forces ($34.6bn). Investments include:
- COLUMBIA Class Ballistic Missile Submarine – $5bn
- CVN-78 FORD Class Aircraft Carrier – $2.9bn
- 2 Virginia Class Submarines – $6.9bn
- 1 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Destroyer – $2.4bn
- 1 Frigate (FFG(X)) – $1.3bn
- 1 Fleet Replenishment Oiler (T-AO) – $853m
- Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) (Large) – $203m
- 2 Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) – $184m
- 1 Ocean Surveillance Ship (T-AGOX(X)) – $434m
Combat Effective Ground Forces ($12.3 bn). Investments include:
- 3,799 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles – $1.1bn
- 70 M-1 Abrams Tank Modifications/Upgrades – $1bn
- 92 Amphibious Combat Vehicles – $613m
Space and Space-Based Systems ($20.6 bn). Investments include:
- 5 Launch Vehicles – National Security Space Launch (NSSL) and Rocket System Launch Program (RSLP) – $1.7bn
- Global Positioning System (GPS) Enterprise – $1.8bn
- Space Based Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Systems – $2.6bn
Cyberspace Activities ($10.4bn). Investments include cybersecurity, cyberspace operations, and research and development in support of cybersecurity and cyberspace operations.
Divestments of older and less-capable platforms and programs that no longer meet mission and/or security needs ($2.8bn). Includes:
- Army: Divests night vision imaging system, missile launcher, electronic warfare, and IT – $47.8m
- Navy: Decommissions ships (CG, LSD, LCS) and divests aircraft (F/A-18 A-D, RQ-21) – $1.3bn
- Air Force: Divests aircraft (A-10, F-15 C/D, F-16 C/D, KC-135, KC-10, C-130H, E-8, RQ-4 block 20 and 30) – $1.4bn
- USSOCOM: Divests select intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) programs- $117.9m
The FY 2022 Budget builds on current readiness gains and modernizes for the future fight across the Services and USSOCOM ($122.1 bn). Investments include:
- Army readiness – $27.8bn
- Navy and Marine Corps readiness – $48.5bn
- Air Force readiness – $36.5bn
- Special Operations Command readiness – $9.4bn
- Driven by divestments and a focus on the future fight, the Department’s request of 2.146 m military personnel is a slight decrease in end strength for FY 2022
DOD’s most critical asset is its people. To ensure the U.S. military remains the preeminent force in the world, the FY 2022 Budget takes care of Service members, their families, and our civilian workforce. The budget request:
- Includes a 2.7% pay raise for both military and civilian personnel
- Sustains family support programs with investment of $8.6bn for:
- Professional development and education opportunities for Service members and military spouses
- Quality, affordable child care for over 160,000 children
- Youth programs serving over 1 m family members
- DOD Dependent Schools educating over 74,000 students
- Establishes the Defense Center of Excellence for Sexual Assault Prevention, Response, Education, and Training
- Strengthens DOD tools to identify and address extremism in the ranks
Investing in facilities improvement and high quality housing helps our people serve safely and effectively. Facility investments include:
- Military construction and family housing – nearly $10bn
- Military construction is 17% higher than last year’s enacted amount
- Facilities sustainment, restoration, and modernization (FSRM) – $15 bn
- FSRM is $1bn more than last year
- Full funding of all executable remediation activities for Per- and Polyfluroalkyl substances at locations closed through Base Realignment and Closure efforts
- Ensuring privatized and government housing is safe, high-quality, and well-maintained through sustained funding that is over $50m higher than the amount requested only two years ago.
DOD leads, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. DOD succeeds through teamwork, as it will:
- Join forces with allies and partners
- Buttress diplomacy and advance foreign policy that employs all instruments of national power, creating integrated deterrence
- Prioritize rebuilding mutually beneficial defense relationships around the world to maintain DOD’s competitive edge far from American shores
- Build partner nation capacity and increase interoperability
- Embrace international cooperation for a better, safer, more resilient, more prosperous world
DOD works in partnership with our Nation. The Department will help America build back better by investing in critical supply chains, the U.S. manufacturing workforce, small businesses, and military families. Those efforts include:
- Defense Production Act request to partner with U.S. companies to boost the defense industrial base and bring critical supply chains back to the U.S., including rare earth elements and microelectronics – $341m
- Investments to accelerate DOD’s response to climate change, which effects nearly every aspect of DOD missions, facilities, and operations – $617m
- Invest in global health and medical research investments to fight COVID and prepare for future pandemics
The entire budget proposal and additional materials are available at: https://www.defense.gov/cj (Source: US DoD)
DoD asks for more money and cyber mission
29 May 21. After years of flat cybersecurity budgets, DoD asks for more money and cyber mission force personnel.
The Biden administration on Friday proposed a $10.4bn cybersecurity budget for the Department of Defense next year and plans to add significantly to the cyber mission force responsible for cyberspace national security.
The request is 6 percent more than the $9.8bn sought for DoD cybersecurity in the previous administration’s last budget plan, breaking a streak of flat cyber requests and showing the anxiety among policymakers about growing cyberattacks, especially ones with the potential to disrupt critical infrastructure or weapon systems.
The DoD will add 14 teams to U.S. Cyber Command’s cyber mission force over the next three years, an official familiar with the plan told C4ISRNET, speaking anonymously because the full details have not been released publicly.
The force that Cyber Command calls its “action arm” has not grown since it was designed in 2012, numbering 133 teams and roughly 6,200 service members. The cyber threat landscape has changed significantly since that time, leading members of Congress as well as a congressional commission to request more personnel.
While leaders hinted there could be growth to the workforce, the budget provides more concrete details. Specifically, DoD requested four additional cyber mission force teams for fiscal 2022. About $2.5bn of the budget request would support filling, training and equipping these new cyber specialists. Politico first reported the DoD’s plan to grow the force.
At the time of publication, the breakdown of which services will provide the teams was unclear, along with the specific types of teams.
The types of teams could signal the department’s priorities and where it needs assistance to combat cyber threats. The cyber mission force includes:
- cyber protection teams that conduct defensive operations
- combat mission teams that handle cyber operations on behalf of combatant commands mostly in the offensive sphere
- cyber support teams to provide intelligence, mission planning and other necessary support work for combat mission teams and,
- national mission teams, which form the Cyber National Mission Force that conducts offensive operations to defend the nation.
The bulk of the Biden administration’s DoD cyber request — about $5.6bn of it — would go toward protection of IT systems.
The Biden administration placed a major focus on network protections after several breaches in late 2020 and 2021 that highlighted vulnerabilities in information systems. The ask, which is $200m more than last year’s request, is primarily focusing on next-generation encryption, network modernization and security solutions that allow for data to pass across security enclaves, trying to invest in systems that are “more agile, effective and efficient” while building on “important initiatives established in FY2021.”
The department has signaled publicly for several years that it’s seeking more advanced cybersecurity architectures, particularly zero trust. Aside from the SolarWinds attack that afflicted government systems, DoD officials said that the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding telework orders accelerated the conversation at the department about cybersecurity, both for unclassified and classified work.
The department requested $615m for efforts related to zero-trust cybersecurity architectures, an information security approach in which users are inherently distrusted and must regularly verify their identities. Zero trust is viewed at the Pentagon as the future of cybersecurity. The department has launched a zero trust lab and several pilots to explore the opportunities. The Pentagon’s CIO office is also exploring the creation of a zero trust portfolio management office, responsible for guiding the department toward the concept and sharing best practices with partners.
The department wants to invest $980.9m in cryptology modernization for next-generation mission systems and platforms as adversaries become more capable of breaking into secure systems. The department also requested $315.8m in cross-domain solutions, or cybersecurity systems that allow information sharing across security classifications. Cross-domain solutions are viewed are critical piece of the Pentagon’s future war-fighting concept known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control, where users will have to pass and access data across the security enclaves.
Similarly, the department asks for $243.9m for identity and credential access management modernization efforts to “align with and utilize emerging technology and architectures.” That’s another important piece of securing JADC2 because help verify the identity of users. Earlier this year, Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, CIO/J6 of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and leader for JADC2 said that he had not seen an ICAM solution from industry that meets his needs.
Lastly, the department requested $339.7m for endpoint management and automated continuous monitoring, a tool that allows visibility into DoD devices’ cybersecurity posture.
On the cyber operations front, the budget asks for $4.3bn, which overall will go toward cyber collection, intelligence preparation of the environment, defensive and offensive cyber.
More specifically, it requests $181.9m for further development and employment of capabilities to integrate command and control to enhance multidomain operations, $715m for DoD mission assurance activities to increase resilience and implement mitigations to reduce vulnerability of key assets. It also would allot $147.2m for hunt-forward operations, teams deployed to other nations to help them defend against malign cyber activity inside their networks. DoD officials believe these missions are critical to defending the U.S. homeland as they provide unique insights into activities of adversaries, which may be planning similar operations against U.S. networks. Last year, Cyber Command asked Congress for an additional $13.8m for these operations in what’s known as unfunded priorities. The budget proposal include $113.9m to further develop Unified Platform, a critical piece of Cyber Command’s infrastructure that will ingest data and serve as the center of its capability architecture.
Cyber Command, specifically, asked for $605m for its general budget, which covers the headquarters staff and the Cyber National Mission Force, Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Cyber Command, wrote in congressional testimony this year.
“USCYBERCOM is working with the Services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to direct CMF funding in a more collaborative effort while allowing for informed tradeoffs (across the Services) based on operational needs,” he wrote. (Source: Defense News)
US Army’s budget backs modernization
29 May 21. US Army’s FY22 budget backs modernization, cuts ‘down into bone’ of legacy fleet.
The U.S. Army is taking a hit in the president’s fiscal 2022 defense budget request compared to the other military services, but the land force continues to staunchly guard its ongoing modernization efforts intended to provide overmatch against adversaries like China and Russia by 2035, according to documents released May 28.
The Army’s budget request of $173bn for FY22 represents a $5bn reduction compared to last year’s request of $178bn. Congress enacted $176.6bn in FY21.
Different this year is the lack of wartime funding — also known as the overseas contingency operations account — that, for the first time since it was created, is rolled into the base budget. The OCO account is now referred to as direct and enduring contingency costs. That was reduced by $5bn from FY21, Army comptroller Lt. Gen. Thomas Horlander told a small group of reporters.
From FY21 to FY22, the base budget of $154.5bn has a slight uptick of $1.4bn, he added, which is a “hair less” than a 1 percent increase. The direct and enduring contingency funding request is for $18.4bn.
The Army accommodated the sizable reduction in wartime funding and the small growth in its base budget by protecting readiness and modernization but cutting from its research and development as well as its acquisition portfolios, Horlander said, which equates to roughly $4bn less than what was enacted in FY21.
The $4bn reduction is almost “entirely driven by a reduction in Middle East requirements,” acting Army Secretary John Whitley told reporters before the budget request release.
The Army will hold its end strength at 485,000 active-duty soldiers. The FY21 enacted end strength was 485,900. The request allows for 336,000 Army National Guardsmen and 189,500 Army Reserve personnel.
As the Army shifts its focus to stronger operational capability in the Pacific, it is requesting $1 bn to contribute to the lethality of the joint force, which is meant to deter Chinese aggression in the region. Within that deterrence initiative, the Army is asking for $239.6m in missile procurement and $699m in research, development, test and evaluation.
Operation and maintenance
The service is asking for $54.6bn for operation and maintenance, which includes $5.1bn in direct war costs and $5.3bn in enduring costs.
About $3.2bn of the reduction in operation and maintenance comes from force-structure reductions as the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan. Another $200m reduction comes from adjustments to the European Deterrence Initiative.
The budget request funds the maintenance of 21 brigade combat teams, five security force assistance brigades and 11 combat aviation brigades, and it calls for the support of 20 combat training center rotations.
The service will continue to invest in its multiyear campaign of learning, dubbed Project Convergence. The Army is requesting $106.8m total ($33.7m in operation and maintenance funding and $73.1m in research, development and testing) for the now-yearly exercise that will take place for the second time this fall.
Army leaders are concerned the service will be unable to continue protecting priority programs and key enabling capabilities in upcoming budgets after FY22, but modernization efforts remain untouched in the request.
Some programs considered critical to the future are already “on the edge of viability,” Lt. Gen. James Pasquarette, the Army G-8 in charge of equipping, said May 13 at the McAleese & Associates conference.
The Army’s equipping peg had to cut roughly $1.6bn from its budget in the FY22 request, Pasquarette told Defense News in an interview ahead of the budget release.
The Army wrapped its arms tightly around a set of 35 priority modernization programs to include efforts in long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicles, the network and future vertical lift while at the same time bracing for future budget cuts.
And it has identified another 30 systems, not among the top priority programs, but those that are considered key enablers because without them the top modernization programs won’t reach their full potential. The service has roughly $24bn invested in key enablers.
One example is the Q-53 radar, which is needed in order for the Army’s future Extended Range Cannon Artillery system to see out to targets at its 70-kilometer range. Without a capable radar, the ERCA system would not reach its full potential. The Army is requesting $88m for the radar.
Other key enablers include the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node ($83.3m requested), Family of Weapon Sights-Individual ($85.4m), Vehicle Protection System ($104.5m), the Improved Turbine Engine Program ($29.5m), Terrestrial Layer System ($18.4m), and Cannon Delivered Area Effects Munition ($6.5m).
Sentinel radar, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Excalibur are also key enablers.
Pasquarette said that of the roughly $35bn inside the equipping portfolio he manages, 47 percent of the funding is allocated to advance the top 35 modernization priorities plus the 30 other key enablers. The other 53 percent is everything else, which covers roughly 500 other programs.
In the next five years, the priority programs will be funded closer to 50 percent, he added.
While modernization priorities are well funded, the Army is asking for $1.3bn less than what was enacted in FY21 — a total of $12.8bn in FY22 — in research, development, test and evaluation money.
Roughly 74 percent of the Army’s science and technology dollars will be spent on its modernization priorities.
The FVL budget request is $1.12bn in FY22, which includes a $270m boost for the service’s future long-range assault aircraft expected to be fielded around 2030, according to Pasquarette.
The Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon would receive $412m in FY22 to support live-fire tests as well as fabrication and assembly of the glide-body prototype.
The Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense capability — the radar that will replace the current Patriot air and missile defense sensor — would get $328m in FY22.
The Army’s new medium-range capability missile would get $286m in FY22 if approved.
The Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office would also receive $244m to push development efforts in directed-energy, long-range precision fires, air and missile defense, cyber, artificial intelligence, signals intelligence, unmanned aircraft systems, and counter-UAS capabilities.
At this point, according to Pasquarette, the Army is “down into bone” when it comes to cutting from non-priority programs. If budgets continue to decline, he added, the Army will have to start slicing into the muscle of untouchable modernization programs.
The service plans to spend $2.8bn less than what was enacted in FY21 in procurement, asking for $21.3bn. The Army wants to buy less aircraft and combat vehicles in the legacy fleet than originally planned in FY22.
The aircraft procurement budget request of $2.8bn is $1.3bn less than FY21 enacted dollars.
After building 42 UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters in FY21, the service will build half that in FY22 with plans to roll just 24 off the production line.
The Army will also remanufacture 30 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and buy six MH-47G Chinook helicopters for Army special operators.
The service is not requesting CH-47F Block II Chinooks for the active force after deciding not to purchase any several years ago, but it is including some of those aircraft in its unfunded requirements list, which has yet to be delivered to Congress, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told reporters just ahead of the budget request release. Congress restored funding to begin an initial buy of CH-47F Block II aircraft in the FY21 spending bill.
The Army also plans to upgrade 187 Stryker combat vehicles compared to 254 in FY21, and will only upgrade 70 Abrams M1 tanks compared to 102 last year. The request includes funding for 25 Paladin Integrated Management howitzers. The service received funding for 31 in FY21.
Less short-range air defense systems will be procured in FY22 — 37 total. The Army is funded to buy 59 SHORAD systems in FY21.
The Precision Strike Missile, Integrated Visual Augmentation System and Next-Generation Squad Weapon are all seeing boosts as procurement ramps up for the programs as they begin fielding.
Weapons and tracked combat vehicle funding is boosted slightly in FY22: The request asks for $3.8bn over the $3.6bn approved in FY21.
The request also includes $287m to begin low-rate initial production for the Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower capability.
The Armored Multipurpose Vehicle is also receiving a boost in the request: The Army wants $105m in FY22 compared to $63m in FY21 as production ramps up.
The Army has also cut back its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles to $37 m after receiving $181m in FY21, while the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles budget increased to $64m. The FY21 approved funding for the latter was $7m.
The service will also procure less Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, planning to spend $575m in FY22. The Army received $884m in FY21 for the vehicles.
The Army National Guard’s Humvee modernization effort will receive no funding in FY22 compared to $100m in FY21.
After three years of budget deep dives the Army has called “night court,” it has found less dollars to move to modernization priorities each year. The Army plans to cancel just seven programs after canceling 93 programs in FY20 and 41 in FY21.
Programs that are being eliminated include Aviators Night Vision Imaging System and Hellfire Missile Launchers. They will both move into sustainment with existing capability and stockpiles at adequate levels.
Joint Technology Center/Systems Integration program will be discontinued and transitioned to sustainment, and procurement of the 2.75-inch Hydra rocket launchers will be canceled along with the Lightweight Counter Mortar System. Replacement capability is not required for either the launchers or the mortar system, according to Army documents. The Spider Networked Munition System is being terminated “in favor of less costly alternative,” the documents read.
The Army is shifting $12.2m to elsewhere in the budget by canceling Multi-Function Electronic Warfare system procurement as well. But according to Army officials, the research and development effort will continue, and the effort can “re-compete” for procurement funding in future budgets.
The service is also reducing funding for another 37 programs, Army officials told reporters prior to the budget request release.
Whitley, the Army’s acting secretary, told reporters ahead of the budget request release that it is getting “progressively harder to find lower-priority programs to realign” modernization priorities. The service has found roughly $9.1bn in funding to move across its FY22-26 five-year plan in the last round of night court, compared to $22.4bn in the FY20-24 plan and $13.5bn in the FY21-25 plan. (Source: Defense News)
USAF to mothball dozens of A-10s
29 May 21. US Air Force to mothball dozens of A-10s, F-15s and F-16s in FY22 budget. The U.S. Air Force wants to send more than 200 aircraft to the boneyard with its fiscal 2022 budget request, freeing up $1.3bn in savings that it can reinvest in cutting-edge technologies like its sixth-generation fighter and hypersonic weapons.
The Department of the Air Force, which released its budget request on May 28, requested a total of $173.7bn — $156.3bn for the Air Force and $17.4bn for the Space Force.
Although research, development, test and evaluation costs for the Air Force increased from $26.6bn to $28.8bn, procurement fell from $26.1 bn to $22.9bn.
The request could be a bitter pill to swallow for Congress. It asks lawmakers to approve the retirement of dozens of aircraft — including the beloved A-10 Warthog, F-15C/D and F-16C/D fighters, KC-135 and KC-10 refueling tankers, C-130 cargo planes, and RQ-4 surveillance drones — while, in many cases, funding fewer new aircraft than anticipated in the Air Force’s FY21 plans.
Despite the major changes, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown has said that FY23 would host the biggest overhauls to the service.
“You always go into, I think, election years with a little bit different [mindset],” Brown told Defense News in November. “You probably don’t make as many big, bold moves in certain areas. And so there are some things we will take a look at as we work through [FY22]. … And as we look at [FY23], this is where I’m really focused.”
Tactical aircraft make up a huge portion of the aircraft the Air Force wants to retire in FY22, and it will not buy new fighter aircraft in numbers to make up for their loss.
“To attain the desired fighter fleet, the Air Force must right size current aircraft inventories to expedite the transition away from less capable, aging aircraft and emphasize investment in future capabilities” such as the F-35 Block 4 modernization program and Next Generation Air Dominance, the service’s sixth generation fighter, said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.
The service hopes to shed 42 A-10 Warthogs, which would bring the total inventory to 239 aircraft — which puts the Air Force toward the number it believes it needs for counterterrorism and low-end operations through at least 2030, Stefanek said.
It also plans to cut 47 F-16C/D and 48 F-15C/D fighters, which have “major structural issues” and will become unsafe to fly as early as 2023, Stefanek said.
The Air Force is continuing the trend from FY21 of retiring a portion of its legacy tanker fleet, divesting 14 KC-10 tankers and 18 KC-135 tankers. The retirement of those aircraft will allow the Air Force to invest more money toward standing up the KC-46, specifically the transition of KC-10 and KC-135 maintainers to the KC-46, Stefanek said.
The Air Force would retire a total of 13 C-130Hs, a move than Stefanek said “constitutes a low level of risk, given future joint war-fighting missions.”
The service also plans to retire four of its 16 E-8 JSTARS aircraft, which are used for ground surveillance and targeting, and 20 RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 surveillance drones.
“The Air Force must accelerate investment in competitive capabilities that can penetrate and survive in the highly contested environment,” Stefanek said of the proposal. “Divestment of less-survivable weapon systems provides resources to fund emerging ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capabilities that can penetrate and collect data in the highly contested environment.”
Lawmakers have already signaled they may not accept the Air Force’s plan to retire certain aircraft.
On Friday morning, Arizona Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema as well as Reps Ann Kirkpatrick, Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran and Greg Stanton issued a statement opposing the proposed divestment of the A-10, which is based at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
“Removing A-10s from the fleet when there is not another aircraft capable of performing this mission takes a vital tool away from our military and is the wrong step for our national security,” Kelly said.
The Air Force might encounter similar opposition for retiring the RQ-4 and E-8 — something it attempted in past budgets, only to be shot down by lawmakers who have fought divesting those aircraft when no direct replacement exists.
Congress may be more likely to approve the retirement of KC-135s this year. In FY21, lawmakers blocked proposed divestment of KC-135s due to concerns from U.S. Transportation Command about the overall size of the tanker force. However, TRANSCOM head Gen. Stephen Lyons told lawmakers during a May 18 hearing that he would support some KC-135 retirements this year.
Trade-offs today for tomorrow
The Air Force’s decision to slash procurement — resulting in some cases in lower buys of aircraft than was projected in FY21 — may also prove controversial.
The service stuck to its plan of buying 48 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing models and 12 F-15EX Eagle II fighters in FY22, at $4.5 bn and $1.3bn respectively.
It also wants to spend $2.4bn on 14 KC-46 tankers — two more than projected in its FY21 plans.
However, the service lowered procurement of the HH-60W combat rescue helicopter from 20 aircraft in its FY21 plans to 14 in the FY22 request. And instead of buying four MC-130Js for Air Force Special Operations Command, as it planned in FY21, it will buy only three at a cost of $220 m.
It also funds a single C-130 and E-11 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node to replace combat losses.
The service requests $2.1bn to procure missiles. Most notably, it will buy hypersonic missiles for the first time, adding $161m to the budget for low-rate initial production of the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.
Meanwhile, the Air Force wants to make big investments in several advanced technology programs under development to outmatch emerging Chinese threats. The service stepped up its investment on Next Generation Air Dominance, a family of systems that will include a sixth-generation fighter. Spending on the program is set to increase by $623m, for a total of $1.5bn in FY22. An NGAD demonstrator first flew last year. Though it remains unclear when the capability will be fielded, it is set to replace the F-22.
Although the Biden administration will likely pursue a nuclear posture review, Air Force nuclear development programs received a huge boost in funding despite ongoing questions about whether to fund the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, which is meant to replace Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles. GBSD was dealt a major victory in FY22, with the Air Force adding $1.1bn to the program for a total of $2.6bn.
The service increased spending on the Long Range Standoff Weapon from $385m in FY21 to $609m in FY22. Funding for the B-21 bomber stayed stable at $2.9bn.
The Air Force boosted spending on the Advanced Battle Management System program from $158m in FY21 to $204 m in FY22. It also increased spending for hypersonic weapons prototyping from $386m to $438m.
The service also put more money toward upgrades for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and B-52 bomber. The service increased funds for the F-35′s Block 4 modernization program and Technology Refresh 3 by $239m, for a total of $1.1bn. It added $233m for B-52 upgrades, including the engine replacement program, for a total of $716m.
Funding for the VC-25B Air Force One replacement aircraft dropped slightly from $799m to $681m. (Source: Defense News)
US Navy budget prioritizes readiness
29 May 21. US Navy FY22 budget request prioritizes readiness over procurement.
The U.S. Navy has asked for a budget that would boost near-term readiness by investing in ship and aircraft maintenance but shrinks procurement and force structure, again pausing plans to grow the fleet.
The Navy’s fiscal 2022 budget request, released May 28, addresses future requirements through a beefed-up research and development account, and the Marine Corps is moving out on some acquisition efforts that support its Force Design 2030 effort. But the actual size of the Navy fleet was a lower priority given the top line spending levels in FY22, the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget told reporters in a May 28 press briefing.
“The goal of the department was to balance the first priority, which is investment in Columbia recapitalization; the second priority, which is to prioritize readiness to deliver a combat-credible force for today; invest in lethality and modernization; and then grow the warfighting capacity at a rate supported by our budget controls,” Rear Adm. John Gumbleton said.
The Department of the Navy overall requested $211.7 bn in spending, which is a 1.8-percent increase in top line compared to the FY21 request. The Navy’s portion of that, though is $163.9bn, or just 0.6 percent more than FY21. The Marine Corps requested $47.9bn, a 6.2 percent increase as it overhauls the force on a short timeline to become more agile and ready for littoral operations.
The Navy requested eight ships this year — four warships and four support ships — for a total of $22.6bn, or a 3 percent reduction compared to FY21. The sea service also asked for $16.5bn to buy 107 aircraft, which is down 15.6 percent in funding and 37 aircraft compared to FY21.
Overall, the Navy wrote in a budget document, “our procurement accounts decrease by 5.7 percent to fund the increases in operation and maintenance (up 3.4 percent), military personnel (up 3.5 percent), research and development (up 12.4 percent), and infrastructure accounts (up 13.9 percent) as we seek to innovate and modernize the force while maintaining and enhancing readiness and people-focused programs.”
The service noted that the decreased shipbuilding account was carefully crafted to balance requirements, resources and industrial base needs, “weighing the effects of our program decisions on the industrial base to ensure our nation maintains the skills, capabilities, and capacities critical to our national defense.”
Gumbleton, in his briefing, acknowledged that eight ships will not put the Navy on a path to grow to 355 ships, which was identified in 2016 as a target size for the fleet. More recent fleet studies suggest the Navy should aim even higher through a mix of manned and unmanned ships.
“Eight ships a year is not going to get to 355. All things being equal, if you have a 300-ship Navy and a 30-year [service life for the average ship], you have to recapitalize at 10 per year, so eight is not going to do it. That said, we’re consistent with last year’s request of eight ships, we’re requesting eight this year again, and we have to manage,” he said.
“Again, it’s all about not having a hollow force: making sure we’re ready today, modernizing for tomorrow, and then the investment for the future. And with this top line allocated, this is the right blend to do that,” he added.
In FY21, the Navy asked for eight ships, two of which were tugboats to support the fleet. The request was immediately rejected by lawmakers who focus on the Navy portfolio. They said the request was not in line with Navy future force studies that called for a trajectory to 355 or even 400-plus battle force ships required to deter or defeat high-end threats like China or Russia.
The most recent budget request is likely to draw greater criticism. Of the eight ships, only four are warships: two Virginia-class attack submarines, one Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and one Constellation-class frigate. The other four are support ships: one John Lewis-class fleet oiler; two towing, salvage and rescue ships; and one ocean surveillance ship.
Budget documents make clear that funding current Navy operations — which have strained the fleet, especially aircraft carriers, in recent years — and maintenance is a top priority, more so than expanding the fleet. Leaders, including Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, have long said they wanted a balanced fleet more than a larger fleet, which is what this budget request aims to do.
“Navy and Marine Corps forces remain deeply engaged, at a high operational tempo providing National Command Authority immediate options, assuring allies and deterring our adversaries. The FY 2022 budget builds on the effort from the FY 2021 budget and incorporates new administration priorities, focused on improving readiness in Navy major readiness and enabling accounts that support training and deploying our forces,” the budget document read.
This readiness-focused budget comes as the Navy and Marine Corps showed through extensive war gaming and analysis — which was further supported by a second Office of the Secretary of Defense-led analytic effort — that the fleet needs to grow, become more agile and distributed, and rely more on unmanned platforms and small ships if it’s going to compete with China.
In 2019 and 2020, the Navy and Marine Corps conducted a major future fleet architecture study to outline what they need to look like around 2030 to deter China but also win in a conflict against the Asian power if one arose.
Rather than release the results of the study and the long-range shipbuilding plan that reflected the study’s conclusions, then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper in February 2020 declined to release them publicly or to Congress, instead launching his own Future Naval Fleet Study to look at a longer time frame, out to 2045. His study, which wrapped up in the fall, came to largely the same conclusions but called for an even bigger fleet with even more unmanned systems to account for an even larger Chinese threat at the longer time frame.
As a result, the FY21 budget request released last year did not reflect the new direction the Navy and Marine Corps are trying to go. The services and Esper’s office had finally come to an agreement on that direction, raising hopes that the Navy might be able to start moving in that direction come FY22. However, the FY22 budget request from the office of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin again does not support moving in that direction.
The FY22 plan buys two Virginia-class attack submarines, in line with the multiyear procurement contract with prime contractor General Dynamics Electric Boat. It also buys one Arleigh Burke destroyer, though a multiyear contract with the yards of General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding promised one ship a year to each builder in FY22.
The budget request also includes one Constellation-class frigate, the third in the new class that is built by Fincantieri at its Marinette Marine yard.
The two-submarine buy is consistent with the future operating concept that will call for a larger sub fleet. The Navy will need to increase production in the future beyond two a year to reach its goal of 70 to 80 subs, as outlined in Esper’s Future Naval Force Study, but the service recently acknowledged that the industrial base cannot handle that capacity right now.
Esper said when rolling out his study results that the Navy would need to increase to three subs a year to meet the threat. Today, the Navy has 50 submarines.
The one-destroyer buy is also consistent with future operating concepts, though it’s unclear what it means for the existing multiyear contract. The Navy will begin operating more small and unmanned ships and fewer large ships, both to spread out lethality across a vast area — chiefly, in the Pacific — and to challenge an adversary’s targeting abilities by taking away bigger and easier targets.
The Navy will need to continue buying Flight III Arleigh Burkes, in part to replace the aging cruiser fleet, but it doesn’t need to accelerate its production rate to reach a large combatant force — both cruisers and destroyers — that will rise to 100 in the near term but then fall to 74, in line with the Navy’s plans to de-emphasize large combatants’ role in distributed operations.
Though in line with operating concepts, the move has implications for industry. Gumbleton said during the press briefing that the Navy would pay a $33-m penalty for breaking the terms of its multiyear procurement contract with either Bath Iron Works or Ingalls Shipbuilding, but he added that “this was clearly a hard choice with respect to what we could afford” and that the Navy needed to spend the money instead on readiness, modernization and investments in future technologies.
The Navy is expected to speed up the frigate production line in 2023 and will need to expand to a second yard to build as many as four ships a year to reach Esper’s planned 60-70 small combatants. The request keeps to just one frigate for FY22 until next year’s expected increase — likely two at Fincantieri and one at a new yard yet to be announced.
Though not contributing to the ship acquisition count, the Navy is also spending $4.6bn on a second increment of multiyear funding for the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, which was an FY21 buy. The budget also includes $2.4bn in incremental funding for two aircraft carriers bought in a previous two-ship contract. And five used sealift ships will be purchased to supplement the fleet in what Gumbleton called the most affordable procurement model.
On the aircraft side, the Navy continues with its plans to let the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet production line end. It would buy 20 F-35C Joint Strike Fighter carrier variants and 17 F-35B vertical landing variants in FY22, as well as five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes for the carrier air wing and six KC-130J tanker and transport planes for the Marine Corps.
The budget request also includes nine CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters for the Marines, eight CMV-22B Ospreys for the Navy — which will replace the C-2A as the carrier onboard delivery platform to support deployed aircraft carriers — and 36 TH-73A advanced helicopter trainers.
For the first time, the Marines will buy six medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft that will be land-based and support new Marine littoral regiments.
The Marine Corps, which is moving quickly to buy new kit for its future operations, plans to spend $47.9 m to start buying Naval Strike Missiles that will be fired from unmanned ground vehicles. The service will also buy 92 Amphibious Combat Vehicles as the program accelerates under the second full-rate production lot contract with BAE Systems.
To support future operating concepts, the Navy is investing heavily in networks, sensors and other supporting elements of a Naval Operational Architecture that will allow a dispersed fleet of ships and aircraft, both manned and unmanned, to share data and allow the best-positioned platform to engage with a target using all the information at the whole fleet’s disposal.
Gumbleton would not discuss a dollar amount for the Navy’s main contribution to this effort, Project Overmatch. He said there are three budget lines in the research and development portfolio that support Overmatch, but they are classified.
“Project Overmatch is the priority right behind Columbia [submarines], and so it competes quite well for funds. I wouldn’t say it’s resource-limited at all,” he said during the briefing.
Decommissioning and divesting
The Navy plans to retire 15 ships in FY22, some of which were already planned and some of which are meant to support a “divest to invest” strategy to free up funds from legacy capabilities to directly support developing and buying near gear more in line with future operating concepts.
The two most contentious decommissionings are likely to be cruisers and littoral combat ships.
The Navy plans to retire seven cruisers in FY22, five of which are reaching the end of their planned lives and two of which are being retired early.
“Less-capable cruisers with ballistic missile defense only capability are being divested to fund more capable air defense commander (ADC) ships. There were several reasons that led to the decision to divest of these ships. First, divestment allows investment in higher priority capability and capacity. Second, divestment enables the Navy to fund other guided missile cruisers and prioritize the completion of critical modernization availabilities. Third, cruiser modernization costs have grown 90 to 200 percent more than the initial programming estimates,” the budget document read.
Among the cruisers set for retirement in FY22 are Hue City and Anzio, which are among the younger ships in the Ticonderoga class and have gone through the early stages of the three-part cruiser modernization program. With the Navy seeing difficulties with several of the four ships currently in the modernization program, the Navy is choosing to retire Hue City and Anzio instead of finish the work on the ships that sometimes deploy as independent ships and other times deploy with a carrier strike group to act as the lead for air and missile defense.
“From an air and missile defense commander (AMDC) capability perspective, [Hue City] would have likely returned from CG modification ‘late to need.’ Due to current delays in early CG modification ships greater than one year, the ship would likely not return to operational status until after the low-point inventory of AMDC capable ships. DDG Flight IIIs and selective service life extension of [air defense commander] cruisers will provide future needed ADC capability,” according to budget documents.
Decommissioning Hue City and Anzio alone would free up $369.1 m for the Navy to invest elsewhere.
Gumbleton said that, over the five-year Future Years Defense Program, retiring the two cruisers would save $1.5bn that could be reinvested into higher Navy priorities.
Additionally, the Navy is again asking to decommission two of the original LCSs — plus two more — which Congress previously rejected.
The Navy argues that LCSs 1 through 4 were built with research and development funds as prototypes, and that enough changes were made when the production line began with ships 5 and 6 — odd ones made by Lockheed Martin and even ones made by Austal USA — that the original four are not deployable. It would takes several bn dollars to modify them for combat, which the Navy argues is not a good use of money.
Congress has responded that the Navy could fulfill some missions with these ships, such as counter-trafficking operations in U.S. Southern Command. For FY21, Congress allowed the Navy to decommission the littoral combat ships Freedom and Independence but not Fort Worth and Coronado.
Friday’s budget request asks to decommission Fort Worth and Coronado again, along with two of the first production-line ships from Lockheed Martin, Detroit and Little Rock.
The Lockheed ships have experienced ongoing issues with their combining gear. In January, the Navy announced it would stop accepting delivery of Lockheed ships until the company addressed the material defect. As of January, the Navy said Lockheed should bear the cost of fixing in-service ships, but the two sides hadn’t reached an agreement on how to pay for the fixes.
A senior defense official on May 27 said the LCS Milwaukee, Lockheed’ first production-line ship, is currently testing the anti-submarine warfare mission package and will be the first to deploy with it. As for the rest of the Lockheed ships, the official said: “We looked at the odd-numbered hulls that have had some issues with them — you’ve all probably know and have written about the combining gear issues that we’ve had on some of those odd-numbered LCSs. As we work through those, again, you’re at this trade-off” between “retaining incredible capability” that LCSs can provide the fleet and getting rid of ships that aren’t proving to be worth the money.
Another divestment the Navy plans is one dock landing ship, which would free up $200 m to start buying the new light amphibious warships the Navy and Marine Corps need for future littoral operations in a contested environment as well as expeditionary advanced base operations.
The service is boosting spending on ship maintenance as well as shipyard facilities.
The Navy is asking for $13.8bn for ship maintenance, including $1.3bn for a pilot program that allows the Navy to use money that remains available for as long as three years for ship repairs at private yards instead of the traditional operations and maintenance money that has to be spent in the year it’s appropriated or else it disappears. The pilot program began with U.S. Pacific Fleet and was positively received as helping keep ship maintenance availabilities on track even if they slip from the end of one fiscal year into the beginning of the next. This year’s budget request calls for the pilot program to extend to East Coast shipyards, too.
Though the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan — a 20-year, $21bn plan to overhaul the four public shipyards — is still largely in the planning phase, the budget request calls for $250m to improve a dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and $156.4m for a dry dock saltwater system for the Ford-class aircraft carrier at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. (Source: Defense News)
Space Force seeks budget increase
29 May 21. Space Force seeks sizeable budget increase, reflecting the domain’s importance.
The U.S. Space Force asked Congress Friday for $17.4bn in its 2022 budget request, a bold 13 percent increase for the smallest service when overall military spending is expected to be nearly flat.
The $2bn increase is driven by both additional proposed investments in capabilities and the transfer of space-related funding from the other services to the Space Force — ostensibly beginning the long-awaited consolidation of space programs within the new service. The budget would invest in space launch vehicles and GPS and missile defense satellites for the domain that’s increasingly important to future conflicts and joint war fighting.
The Space Force budget remains small compared to the other services, representing just 2.4 percent of the Department of Defense’s $715bn proposed budget. However, the fact that the Pentagon wants to provide more financial resources to the nascent service even as the U.S. Army budget is set to shrink by 2.3 percent to $173bn demonstrates the growing priority of military space capabilities to DoD leadership.
While the fiscal 2022 budget proposal continues the transfer of U.S. Air Force programs and funding to the Space Force that began in the 2021 budget, it also includes the first transfers of U.S. Army and Navy satellite communications infrastructure to the new service. The Space Force will take over the U.S. Army and Navy’s Global Command, Control, Communication, Intelligence (C3I) and Early Warning infrastructure and personnel to the tune of $143 m. Global C3I and Early Warning includes the survivable satellite communications systems needed to connect the nation’s ballistic missile early warning capabilities and coordinate offensive strikes.
Major drivers of the budget include $686m for the procurement of two GPS III Follow-On satellites (the same number as last year), $1.3bn for the purchase of five national security space launch vehicles (three more vehicles than last year and $341m more), and $132m extra for Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared to keep the program on track for an initial launch capability of the first polar satellite in 2028. The service also requested $3.4 bn for operations and maintenance, $11.3bn for research, development, test and evaluation, and $2.8m for procurement.
At an organization level, the budget request provides $20m to establish a National Space Intelligence Center and $43.2m to establish the Space Warfighting Analysis Center, which will help generate operational concepts and force designs options for the Department of Defense. According to the Space Force, SWAC has already completed an initial force design for the joint missile warning/missile tracking enterprise through cooperation with the Missile Defense Agency, Space Development Agency and National Reconnaissance Office. The budget request also includes $347 m to maintain and modernize its facilities and transfer facility operations support.
The decision on whether to fund the Space Force at the requested amount lies in the hands of Congress, which will spend the coming months working through the lengthy budget process. Notably, House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala, told Defense News in February that the nascent service would have no issue securing funding from Congress.
Rogers said the Space Force “has very unanimous support in the House Armed Services Committee and overwhelming support in the Senate Armed Services Committee. As long as it’s got congressional support, we’re going to be fine.” He also said that declassifying more of what the Space Force does and the threats it’s up against would help lawmakers convince the public the young service needs more support.
When it created the Space Force in 2019, Congress gave the service just $40 m for fiscal 2020 to begin setting up — $32.4m less than requested. Then-Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett said at the time that the discrepancy wouldn’t be a huge problem, noting that the Space Force wouldn’t need the full funding requested since approval came almost a quarter of the way through the fiscal year.
If $40m dollars doesn’t sound like enough to fund the nation’s massive space enterprise, that’s because it’s not. In fiscal 2020, the portfolio now overseen by the Space Force was funded under the U.S. Air Force’s budget.
For fiscal 2021, the Air Force passed its space portfolio over to the new Space Force, with the new service requesting $15.4bn in its first budget request. According to the Air Force’s calculations, that’s $800m more than the $14.6bn the Air Force requested for the same portfolio in fiscal 2020.
In the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that passed in December last year, Congress funded the Space Force slightly below that requested $15.4bn, providing $76m less. Lawmakers reduced funding for procurement and operations/maintenance by $144m and $17m respectively, while increasing research, development, test and evaluation funding by $85m. Overseas contingency operations (OCO), intended to fund wartime operations, were fully funded at the requested $77m.
The head of the Space and Missile Systems Center said in November 2020 that he expected the Space Force’s budget to grow in the coming years, building on the nation’s increased investment in national security space that began when the Pentagon declared space a war-fighting domain in 2019.
“If you thought space was going to be a priority in a kind of one-and-done way, that’s not clearly what’s been happening, right?” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson during the Schriever Space Futures Forum. “So three years in a row budgets have gone to the Hill with foundational changes to the space budget.”
That reflects a consensus among DoD leaders that there needs to be more investment in the military’s space capabilities, Thompson said.
“During the cycle the Deputy’s Management Action Group, [or DMAG] … the folks that advise the secretary of defense on investment, continued to label space as one of the big strategic areas that DoD needs to address,” Thompson explained. “The DMAG and many other DoD leaders are clearly sending a message that across the [Future Years Defense Program], the importance of the space enterprise is growing and needs to grow further.”
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)