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04 June 21. DOD Looking For an Advanced Command, Control Solution. The Joint All-Domain Command and Control’s strategy goal is to link networks and sensors to warfighters with shared data in all domains — cyber, land, sea, air and space — across all of the military services and combatant commands in a secure manner and at great speed.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall, the Joint Staff’s director of command, control, communications and computers — commonly called the J-6 — and the chief information officer for the Joint Staff, spoke at a Pentagon press briefing today about the JADC2 strategy.
On May 13, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III signed a JADC2 strategy document that provides momentum to the continuation of the experimentation phase, Crall said.
The JADC2’s strategy provides the governance and framework necessary to enable rapid integration of artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics and other emerging technologies, he said.
Each of the services is involved in JADC2 experimentation, he said, and the best solutions will be implemented as long as there is no vendor lock or proprietary limitation. “We want this to be open source.”
Crall said that JADC2 is dependent on an enterprise cloud-based computing solution, software development that is sharable, network enhancements, a zero trust environment, data sharing in nimble ways, and solutions that work on the tactical edge in a deployed environment.
What works in the National Capital Region most likely won’t work in an austere environment, he said, adding that warfighters will be robustly testing the system in those environments.
Integrating allies and partners will also be an important aspect of JADC2, he said. (Source: US DoD)
04 June 21. DoD Seeks $2.3bn To Bolster US Chip Making. “From the DoD’s perspective, they’re highly dependent on [Asia] for fabrication and packaging [of chips],” Hudson Institute’s Bryan Clark tells Breaking Defense. This has led to DoD calls to address a “fragile and threatened” chip supply chain.
The Pentagon is seeking $2.3bn to improve its ability to make specialized semiconductors for military use, as well as to fund next-generation chip innovation.
Semiconductors, used in almost every advanced weapon, are especially critical to enabling a range of defense “disruptive technologies,” such as hypersonics, AI, and 5G — all of which receive significant funding in the proposed 2022 budget.
Currently, the Defense Department works with US commercial partners to design and manufacture (i.e., fabricate) semiconductors for military use. Semiconductors for DoD’s specialized use cases and most sensitive programs — such as nuclear command and control and the Intelligence Community — are entirely fabricated in US-based foundries (specialized facilities for making chips) through the Trusted Foundry Program. But this is only a small percentage of the overall number of chips DoD uses, according to Hudson Institute expert Bryan Clark. (Clark co-authored an op-ed for Breaking Defense on the need for a US microelectronics strategy.)
“Within the Trusted Foundry Program, there are a small number of providers that are stable,” Clark tells Breaking Defense. “They’re not fragile because DoD pays a premium to them. Fragility comes into play with all the other semiconductors DoD relies on.”
Most chips for DoD applications are designed by US chipmakers but fabricated in overseas foundries — primarily at TSMC in Taiwan and Samsung in South Korea. About 70 percent of all chips globally are fabricated in Asia, and that number rises to about 90 percent for the most sophisticated chips, which are in some commercial off-the-shelf tech used by DoD. Altogether, DoD and the IC comprise about 10 percent of the US chip market, Clark says.
Should China ever strike against Taiwan or North Korea against South Korea, the result would be disastrous for the US military and economy. “DoD is a small customer worldwide for semiconductors, but it relies on these overseas providers for 90 percent of the chips that go into DoD tech,” Clark says. “The vast majority of that 90 percent is coming from TSMC and Samsung, along with smaller companies in Japan, the US, and other places. From the DoD’s perspective, they’re highly dependent on [Asia] for fabrication and packaging.”
This has led to an unacceptable vulnerability in the microelectronics supply chain. “The US means of domestically producing advanced, assured microelectronics is fragile and threatened,” the 2022 budget proposal notes.
The budget calls for a three-pronged strategy to lessen US reliance on foreign sources:
- Investing in domestic design, fabrication, and packaging capabilities and capacity;
- Procuring legacy chips and retaining capacity to sustain weapons systems in the near-term; and
- Expanding a whole-of-government approach to transitioning advanced capability microchips into extant and next-generation weapons systems.
This funding, Clark says, really falls into two buckets. The first is for support and possible expansion of the Trusted Foundry Program, which will continue to meet DoD’s current needs for sensitive programs and specialized use cases. The second bucket is for next-generation chip designs — “new chip architectures that are inherently less vulnerable,” Clark says.
Next-gen chips are being addressed in a slew of ongoing, multi-year initiatives. The Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes using Advanced Commercial Capabilities (RAMP) and the State of the Art Heterogeneous Integrated Packaging (SHIP) are two programs in the overall next-gen chip initiative and are overseen by the office of the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering under the Trusted and Assured Microelectronics program.
RAMP focuses on chip design. Its goal is “to develop a secure design and prototyping capability to demonstrate how the DoD can securely leverage state-of-the-art microelectronics technologies without depending on a closed security architecture fabrication process or facility.” The DoD chose IBM and Microsoft for Ramp phase 1 last year, as well as chipmaker Qualcomm for an “other transactions agreement.”
The SHIP project’s goal is “to demonstrate a novel approach to a secure, assessable, and cost effective [state-of-the-art] integrated, design, assembly, and test leveraging the expertise of commercial industry.”
Complementary to RAMP and SHIP is RAMP-Commercial. RAMP-C looks across the entire microelectronics life cycle — notably, at domestic fabrication of chips. The goal is to incentive US chipmakers to build onshore foundry capabilities to support DoD-specific design and commercial off-the-shelf components. RAMP-C received proposed solutions from commercial providers in March, and the contract award is currently pending.
DARPA has also been instrumental in advancing several semiconductor innovation projects, such as the Electronics Resurgence Initiative and SAHARA (Structured Array Hardware for Automatically Realized Applications).
Notably, DoD’s proposed $2.3bn for 2022 is not intended to address the domestic foundry shortage in its entirety. There are other initiatives as well. The so-called CHIPS legislation (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act) passed by Congress last year will incentivize US companies to build new chip fabrication capacity domestically, via some $50 bn in tax breaks and subsidies. The CHIPS Act has not yet been funded by Congress, but it’s expected to be as part of the Endless Frontiers Act. The Senate postponed a floor vote on the Endless Frontiers Act last week.
How does the US find itself in this highly vulnerable position for such an integral product to so many facets of defense and the commercial tech economy?
As Clark and his Hudson Institute colleague Dan Patt previously noted in a BD op-ed, “Despite being home to six of the top ten semiconductor sellers, facilities in the United States only manufacture about 11 percent of the world’s chips, down from 40 percent in 1990.”
During a DARPA summit last year, former DoD Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said factors such as “governmental policies and regulations, environmental constraints, safety constraints, wages, and taxes drove up the cost to manufacture microelectronics in the United States, and that this was one of the causes of industry moving manufacturing overseas.”
More recently, Joyce Corell of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told the public and private sectors that the past year has been a “wake-up call” on the “fragility” of US information and communications tech supply chains.
“Everyone in the US and worldwide has learned about supply chain resilience since the pandemic,” Corell said at an event this spring. “Supply chain issues are now dinner table conversations. We all saw how fragile some [supply chains] were and how resilient others were.”
The Biden administration issued an executive order in February to review US supply chains, with special attention given to semiconductors and other critical tech to the US economy.
While the chip issue is sufficiently significant on its own, microelectronics are also key enablers of other defense “disruptive technologies,” such as hypersonics, AI, and 5G. DoD’s proposed budget seeks funding for these initiatives, to include:
- $3.8 bn for hypersonics, which includes “Increas[ing] the quantity of Army Long Range Hypersonic Weapon batteries fielded, increas[ing] funding for Navy Conventional Prompt Strike to add DDG 1000 class destroyers as launch platforms with more weapons purchased, add[ing] money to start procurement of the Air Force Advanced Rapid Response Weapon, and add[ing] funding to mature an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile capability.”
- $874m for AI efforts, which the budget overview notes are up 50 percent over Fiscal Year 2021.
- $398m for 5G to support “greater network bandwidth and speed, enabling the trillion-sensor world, thereby creating vastly more data from more sensors and sources.”
The proposed 2022 budget cuts basic research, applied research, and advanced technology development by a total of $2.1 bn compared to the request for Fiscal Year 2021. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
04 June 21. China Is Furious Over DARPA’s New Hypersonic Missile.
DARPA’s new hypersonic missiles could be a revolution in hypersonic technology — if successful.
Here’s What You Need to Remember: Once design and flight testing are completed, the Lockheed-Martin-DARPA OpFires could be a game-changer, especially in the hands of American Marines. Still, it will be a few years until this technically challenging venture bears fruit.
DARPA’s new hypersonic missiles could be a revolution in hypersonic technology — if successful.
The Defense Department’s secretive DARPA research and development group, responsible for some of the United States’ most-secretive and cutting edge technology projects, is teaming up with Lockheed Martin to develop a new intermediate-range, ground-launched hypersonic weapon. The goal of the project, known as OpFires or Operational Fires, is to develop an “advanced booster capable of delivering a variety of payloads at a variety of ranges.”
In layman’s terms, OpFires would mate a new, variable-range hypersonic missile with mobile ground launch platforms that could engage high-value time-critical targets on land and at sea. Though the project does not sound particularly novel on paper, it’s actually an important revolution in hypersonic missile design. Here’s why.
Why It Matters
American hypersonic missile development is well-documented. By itself, a new, medium-range hypersonic missile would not necessarily be anything new or of particular note. What makes this project particularly difficult — and therefore within DARPA’s purview — is that this hypersonic rocket will be throttleable.
Rockets that run on solid fuel travel full steam ahead: once they’ve been ignited, they typically can’t be turned off or slowed down. Consequently, rockets can struggle to hit targets that are nearer than their maximum distance. Though theoretically possible, making a rocket speed down through the atmosphere with additional onboard weight in the form of unburned fuel can put massive amounts of stress on the rocket body, potentially causing the rocket to break up while in flight.
Making a rocket fly less than its maximum distance is difficult: it’s typically a bad thing if a rocket turns off while in flight. But to hit targets that are closer in or on the move, it could be necessary. And once the project is completed, it could be put to good use by the Marine Corps.
HIMARS and the Marine Corps’ New Mission
Although DARPA and Lockheed are developing OpFires for the U.S. Army, the project could also have big implications for the United States Marine Corps as well.
One mission that the Corps’ Reconnaissance Marines are training for would see Marines and Airmen perform an extremely rapid infiltration and exfiltration on enemy-held islands in the Pacific. Once secure, Air Force transports would land and unload a HIMARS long-range rocket artillery platform, which would then target enemy surface ships and make a quick getaway.
Though not currently equipped to fire hypersonic missiles, the Marine’s HIMARS system could in theory be adapted to quickly fire off hypersonic missiles at enemy ships, a capability that could give the United States an edge in a fast-paced Pacific conflict.
Once design and flight testing are completed, the Lockheed-Martin-DARPA OpFires could be a game-changer, especially in the hands of American Marines. Still, it will be a few years until this technically challenging venture bears fruit. Lockheed estimates that components and subsystems will be tested later this year, with initial flight testing to begin in 2022. (Source: News Now/https://nationalinterest.org)
03 June 21. Biden urged to bring missile defense reductions to Putin summit. Ahead of President Joe Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this month, more than 60 advocates, former military officers, lawmakers and government officials are asking Biden to put missile defense reductions on the agenda.
The letter targets, for one, the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, which saw a plan to upgrade its interceptors cancelled amid technical problems in 2019. Since, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were selected to compete for a next-generation interceptor to be fielded in 2028, and the Missile Defense Agency’s FY22 budget request last week included $926.1m for the program.
But advocates see a potential off-ramp from a burgeoning arms race.
“This presents an opportunity to halt the current arms race between U.S. missile defense systems and new offensive systems being built by Russia and China to overcome U.S. defenses,” they wrote in a letter to Biden on Thursday.
Since the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 ― a move Biden opposed as a senator ― “the GMD system has proceeded in a rushed, chaotic and ultimately counter-productive manner that has resulted in a failed test record, wasted billions of dollars, and accelerated an arms race with Russia and China, leading both adversaries to expand their offensive nuclear weapons programs to counter U.S. missile defenses,” the letter reads.
Notable signatories include former Defense Secretary Bill Perry; Obama-era Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes; former Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman ― and several former lawmakers who served with Biden in the Senate, including Tom Harkin and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
The Council for a Livable World organized and released the letter.
Sen. Steve Daines is proposing a higher bar for any new limits on America’s ballistic missile arsenal.
The signatories argue the Navy’s successful test interception last year of a SM-3 Block IIA missile against an intercontinental ballistic missile, from a ballistic missile defense-capable destroyer at sea, “has threatened Russia’s and China’s confidence in their strategic deterrent.”
They urge Biden to delay new work on the Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system by capping production of the Aegis SM-3 Block IIA interceptors and BMD-capable vessels, “as a first step to restoring strategic stability and stopping a nuclear arms race.”
The Biden budget proposal included $1bn for the Lockheed-made Aegis BMD and $647m for the sea-based interceptors.
The letter flags a 2001 speech from then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Biden that blasted the absurdity of a “theological allegiance to missile defense” in Washington. “You were right then, and you have the power to walk us back from the brink now,” the letter reads.
How this appeal lands when the Biden budget proposal appears headed in the opposite direction is unclear, but Republicans in Congress and perhaps some Democrats would likely oppose it, according to Rebecca Heinrichs, a missile defense analyst at the Hudson Institute.
Heinrichs argued that there’s nothing provocative about building a defensive system, meant to focus on threats from rogue states like North Korea.
“It makes no sense to put on hold the U.S. homeland missile defense system to try to please Putin when the immediate effect would be to leave Americans exposed to Kim Jong-Un’s always-improving missiles,” she said.
“The argument to drop our defenses to placate our enemies by giving them a wider open shot at us has always been foolish, but it’s hard to overstate the madness of making that argument at a time like now when the result is to give Pyongyang that wide open shot.”
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
03 June 21. DOD Releases List of Chinese Military Companies in Accordance With Section 1260H of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. Today, the Department of Defense released the names of “Chinese military companies” operating directly or indirectly in the United States in accordance with the statutory requirement of Section 1260H of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
The Department is determined to highlight and counter the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Military-Civil Fusion development strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise acquired and developed by even those PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities. Section 1260H directs the Department to begin identifying, among other things, Military-Civil Fusion contributors operating directly or indirectly in the United States.
The Department will continue to update the list with additional entities as appropriate.
The list is available here: https://media.defense.gov/2021/Jun/03/2002734519/-1/-1/0/ENTITIES-IDENTIFIED-AS-CHINESE-MILITARY-COMPANIES-OPERATING-IN-THE-US.PDF
(Source: US DoD)
02 June 21. Lockheed Martin Sees Hill Support For F-35 PBL.
“There’s a perception out there that Lockheed’s going to take everything, and nobody’s gonna be able to get in to support of the F-35,” said Mike Miles of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 logistics unit about the firm’s PBL proposal. “That’s not the case.”
Lockheed Martin is projecting about an 80 percent drop in its portion of the F-35’s costs per flying hour by 2031, company officials said today — arguing that overall costs could be even further reduced should DoD sign a company-proposed multi-year performance-based logistics (PBL) contract.
“Our costs per flying hour have been significantly reduced over time,” Mike Miles, of the firm’s F-35 Logistics Solutions unit, told reporters in a briefing today. “Between 2014 and now is a 44 percent reduction in the Lockheed Martin cost, and we project another 40 percent reduction up to 2025.” His slides, based on current company planning, showed another reduction of 40 percent or so between 2025 and 2031.
Lockheed Martin, as prime contractor for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is responsible for about 39 percent of the stealth fighter’s sustainment costs, explained spokesperson Brett Ashworth. DoD — primarily the Air Force — is responsible for approximately 50 percent; and engine maker Pratt & Whitney the remaining 11 percent.
The stealth fighter’s cost per flying hour is about $33,000, Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, head of the DoD’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) told lawmakers in April. Lockheed Martin officials are adamant that they are on track to hit the program’s current goal of pushing that price tag down to $25,000 per flying hour by 2025 (in 2012 dollars set as a budgeting baseline). However, company officials today demurred to offer exact dollar figures for any given year.
Since 2019, Lockheed Martin has been pushing DoD to change its current year-by-year contracting methodology for JSF sustainment by switching to a firm-fixed price, multi-year PBL. Company officials said the preferred PBL contract duration would be five years.
In 2019, the JPO and Lockheed Martin wrapped up a three-year pilot PBL arrangement, noted Miles, which the company had assumed would lead to a formal contract. Miles, who was an Air Force officer involved at the time, said the pilot effort “proved all the [good] results that we thought would happen.”
The company argues a PBL would substantially reduce sustainment costs, improve the flow of parts and increase the aircraft’s mission capability rates. Indeed, officials said today, Lockheed Martin has seen success in the limited use the company has made with suppliers.
DoD, however, has been reluctant to sign on the dotted line, with officials skittish about getting locked in to a long-term arrangement with one vendor.
“I think that there’s a misunderstanding of what will change from a government involvement standpoint,” Miles said. “There’s a perception out there that Lockheed’s going to take everything, and nobody’s gonna be able to get in to support of the F-35. That’s not the case.”
“I want to emphasize that there’s no change in relationship with our depots and the government piece of that,” he went on. “So it’s not Lockheed Martin saying: ‘we’re gonna do more.’ It’s doing the things we’re doing today but smarter and being more efficient; so we can have PBLs with our vendors; we can project performance; we can assume the risk versus leaving the risk with the government; and we can deliver outcomes based off the customer demands.”
Fick told lawmakers in April that the JPO is currently studying the “business case” for a “skinny” version of the company’s PBL proposal based on annual increments through 2023. A decision is likely to be made this summer. But Lockheed Martin officials today were quick to explain that that negotiation does not include a number of elements that make their full PBL proposal attractive; and they obviously would like to see a new negotiation on the wider agreement launched.
Miles said that, despite ongoing DoD reluctance, Congress has been “very supportive” of the PBL idea. Indeed, he said, staff has made it clear to the company that a legislative authorization for DoD to sign such a contract is not needed — it is simply up to the JPO and Lockheed Martin to agree to a deal.
And Lockheed Martin may find a friendlier ear for its efforts when the nominee for Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall is approved by the Senate (as expected.) Not only did Kendall tell lawmakers in his Senate hearing last week that in his view buying more F-35s, not fewer, is a way to push down sustainment costs, but also in his previous job as Pentagon acquisition czar Kendall was a big promoter of PBLs.
The enormous costs of keeping F-35s in the air is the central factor putting the fifth-generation fighter in the budget crosshairs within DoD — and even in Congress, which has long supported the plane’s troubled development. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown earlier this year hinted that the service may have to pare its total planned buy of 1,763 aircraft as it looks to reshape the fighter fleet for the future.
DoD asked for some $12bn in its 2022 budget request to buy 85 F-35 JSF aircraft; with the Air Force accounting for the bulk of the procurement plan with 48 jets at $4.5bn. However, the Air Force broke with tradition by failing to include extra jets in its annual “unfunded priorities” wish list of equipment that didn’t make the budget chop inside DoD, reports colleague Valerie Insinna. (For example, the Air Force asked for 12 in its 2021 unfunded priorities list, which Congress happily provided.)
But this year, even prior to the budget drop last Friday, some senior House Democrats had warned DoD that it wouldn’t be getting any extra even if it did ask — of course prompting the staunch F-35 supporters among their ranks to fight back. That debate is certain to play out during upcoming House Armed Services Committee hearings, as well as those on the other side of Capitol Hill. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
02 June 21. USAF wish list includes more F-15EX jets but no F-35s. The U.S. Air Force’s $4.2 bn wish list for fiscal 2022 includes about $1.4bn to buy 12 more F-15EX fighters from Boeing, helping to narrow a projected gap as the service divests its aging F-15C/D fleet.
More funding for the F-15EX — which includes procurement of 24 conformal fuel tank sets and assorted spares to extend the range of the aircraft — ranked as the top priority and most expensive item on the service’s annual unfunded priorities list, which was delivered to Congress on June 1 and obtained by Defense News.
But the biggest surprise was the conspicuous absence of additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
The services are required to submit unfunded priorities lists to Congress that spell out how they might spend money if the budget top line had been larger. Typically, lawmakers use the lists as a blueprint for making changes to the budget — especially as rationale for adding more expensive items like ships or aircraft.
Over the past several years, the Air Force requested funds for 48 Lockheed Martin-made F-35s in its budget and additional F-35s in its unfunded wish list. But service officials hinted that practice could stop in FY22 as it waits for the upgraded Block 4 version of the jet to be fielded in the mid-2020s.
Instead, the Air Force list puts $360m into F-35 sustainment. About $175 m of that sum would go toward 20 F135 engine power modules, helping ameliorate a shortage that is “causing aircraft to become not mission capable at increasing rates,” according to the Air Force’s justification for its unfunded priorities.
Congress is usually amenable to boosting aircraft procurement to the levels laid out in the unfunded list, but the Air Force’s planned divestment of more than 200 aircraft in FY22 — including 42 A-10 Warthogs, 47 F-16C/Ds and 48 F-15C/Ds — could make lawmakers even more likely to increase F-15EX procurement.
The Air Force requested funds for 12 F-15EX aircraft and 48 F-35s in its FY22 budget released Friday.
The second biggest chunk of funding on the unfunded priorities list — worth a collective $825m — would go toward weapon system sustainment and spares needed to keep aircraft flying.
Specifically, the list includes $37m for U-2 sustainment, including special fuel, U-2 and T-38 trainer maintenance, and a contract extension for the aircraft’s mission-planning cell. The service also added $37 m for five additional spare engines for the EC-37 Compass Call prior to the production line shutdown. The EC-37 is set to replace the legacy EC-130H Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft.
The list adds $377 m to augment the Air Force’s command-and-control enterprise, with funds to accelerate the Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar program and underwrite ongoing procurement, operations and maintenance of Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft.
The Air Force also included $180m for three major aircraft upgrades and technologies. It requests $86m for the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar Systems program and $38 m for the Large Common Carriage, allowing the program to move into the engineering, manufacturing and development phase.
The list also adds $57m for the Adaptive Engine Transition Program, which would allow General Electric as well as Pratt & Whitney to finish work on their engine prototypes.
Finally, the unfunded wish list contains about $1 bn for infrastructure, including about $736m for military construction projects.(Source: Defense News)
02 June 21. US Army’s $5.5bn wish list seeks to restore cuts made to protect force modernization. The U.S. Army’s fiscal 2022 wish list — known as an unfunded requirements list — asks for $5.5 bn in additional money that would help reduce risk to operational readiness and protect critical modernization efforts, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville states in a June 1 letter accompanying the service’s list obtained by Defense News.
The Army needs additional funding beyond its $173 bn budget request in FY22 in order to hold on to momentum gained in recent years, McConville noted. The FY22 budget is a $3.6 bn reduction from what was approved by Congress in FY21. The FY22 president’s budget request was released May 28.
“While we have managed to flatline end strength, sustain the readiness gains the Army has achieved in FY18-21 and further invest in our six modernization priorities, our progress is at risk if we don’t have real growth of 3-5% above inflation going forward,” McConville said in the letter sent to the congressional defense committee.
The unfunded requirements list is a document the military services send to Congress each year following the release of the defense budget request to tell lawmakers about where they could use more funding in a perfect world. The lists are usually provided at the request of congressional defense committees.
The budget reduction in FY22, McConville wrote, “come as the Army pivots from incrementally improving 1980s weapons systems to resourcing an aggressive 21st century Army Modernization Strategy.”
The Army protected its modernization priorities in the FY22 budget, but at the expense of legacy fleets. Some vehicles and aircraft will be procured or upgraded at a slower rate than planned. The service would like an additional $1.1 bn for tactical training, soldier quality of life and strategic power projection capabilities as well as $1.9bn for modernization and equipping that restores reductions in aviation, wheeled and tracked combat vehicles and cyber security upgrades, according to McConville.
The Army would also like $608m for construction and infrastructure modernization efforts.
And the Army chief would like a $1bn “placeholder” for “unforecasted” direct and enduring war costs (the new Overseas Contingency Operations funding) and homeland contingency operations. The next fiscal year marks the first year wartime funding is included in the base budget and not separated out since its inception.
“The completion of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel at the end of FY21 will not result in immediate cost savings,” Army officials wrote.
The Army needs an additional $470.4m to cover potential enduring and direct war costs, according to the list.
And the service would like an additional $570m to support homeland contingency operations. “The Army has maintained consistent support to Homeland contingency operations throughout the years and has leveraged internal resources to support this requirement,” the document states. “However, with a reduced topline in the FY22 budget, the Army seeks funding to support this requirement.”
A total of $898.4m would would ensure investment in people serving in the Army, including an additional $500m to cover the cost of updating family housing and barracks across the force.
Better protection for soldiers that would operate in cold weather is desired as well. The Army is asking for $155m for better fitting body armor and extreme cold weather gear, particularly as it looks to execute its Arctic strategy.
Some of the pricier requests, more than $1bn, come to support the Indo-Pacific and European theaters.
The readiness requirements within the wish list would support the Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Space (I2CEWS) detachment within the Multidomain Task Force as it participates in Defender Pacific and other “deterrence initiatives.”
More funding would set up a pilot of the MDTF-All Domain Operations Center “to take full advantage of advances in digital warfare, autonomous robotics and artificial intelligence to maintain digital overmatch against near-peer adversaries,” the document stated.
The Joint Readiness Training Center’s Joint Operations Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, would be modernized and the Army would establish two Combat Training Center-like events within the Indo-Pacific theater.
To get up to speed with its Army Prepositioned Stocks, the service would need another $400m to “renovate and restore platforms and materiel” and another $190m to cover transportation costs related to deployments that support strategic readiness, according to the list.
While the Army was able to preserve its top modernization priorities and critical enablers it would like an additional $1.87 bn to move forward on a variety of efforts, according to the wish list.
For example, the service wants extra funding to replace its Shadow unmanned aircraft systems with Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (FTUAS) in eight Brigade Combat Teams.
“The additional funding will seize the opportunity and momentum achieved through the successful FTUAS ‘Buy, Try, and Inform’ Soldier touchpoint and represents a 2-year acceleration to the FTUAS program,” the document states.
Also on the unfunded list are an additional five CH-47F Block II Chinook cargo helicopters, the latest variant of the aircraft.
The Army only plans to procure the MH-47G special operations variant of the aircraft but after congressional pressure, the Army appears to be turning back toward the possibility of buying them for the regular force. The service decided years ago not to buy CH-47F Block IIs to ensure it can afford to bring two future vertical lift aircraft online in the early 2030s.
The service also wants to buy more Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS), Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), 120-mm tank main gun ammunition and 155-mm artillery ammunition. The Army took a hit in the procurement of missiles in the FY22 budget. The lack of JAGM funding in the FY22 budget will result in a production break for as procurements will need meet minimum quantity requirements.
The FY22 budget also pared back on Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and Paladin Integrated Management program system procurement and the unfunded requirement list would prevent their extended fielding.
The Army had planned to field three to five BCTs worth of JLTVs each year to FY41, but current funding puts those plans in “jeopardy,” according to the list. The $122 m reduction per year will delay the fielding of one Armored BCT, which would push the end of fielding out to FY45.
A PIM reduction will delay an FY22 production contract award, according to the wish list, due to additional time BAE Systems would need “re-propose at reduced quantities.” Delays could cool the line in production at both York, Pennsylvania, and Elgin, Oklahoma.
The wish list would also prevent delays to the National Guard Abrams tank upgrades and would upgrade a brigade set of Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles to avoid obsolescence. The current Army reduction in funding delays fielding Army National Guard Abrams upgrades out beyond FY25.
The Army would also increase research and development funding for Offensive Cyberspace weapons and tools and the Terrestrial Layer System- Echelon Above.
The wish list includes funding for the currently unfunded Electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle program, which could be the Army’s earliest foray into a vehicle fleet that uses alternative fuel.
The “lack of funding will delay the research, design, and builds of future eLRV prototypes as well as delay the initial Other Transaction Authority (OTA) of up to four (4) contractors to participate in Soldier Touch Points,” the document states.
The Army is also hoping Congress might add $606.3m in funding to support more installation modernization.
“Units continue to operate in poor or failing facilities that require restoration, modernization, or replacement including HVAC and electrical systems to sustain the power load of modern operating systems,” the wish list documents state. (Source: Defense News)
02 June 21. USMC request more missiles, radars in FY22 wish list. The U.S. Marine Corps’ strategy to overhaul itself by 2030 for a high-end fight in the Pacific is based on a divest-to-invest model: The service will get rid of legacy equipment and units that aren’t useful in the fight it expects in the future, and in return the money that’s freed up will pay for developing the new, sophisticated technology it will need.
Still, getting a little more money in fiscal 2022 would help the service transform faster, Commandant Gen. David Berger wrote to lawmakers.
In an unfunded priorities list sent to Congress, the Marines say additional funding beyond the White House-approved FY22 budget request could support four key areas of investment that will set the Corps up for success in a fight against a peer adversary like China: fires, sensors, mobility and networks.
The unfunded priorities list is a chance for the services to send Congress an unfiltered wish list of how they would spend additional funds, if lawmakers were to make any available.
The top priority in the list is $57.8m for 35 additional Naval Strike Missiles, which the Marine Corps intends to use as a land-based anti-ship missile, supporting the U.S. Navy by creating sea control and sea denial from the shore.
The FY22 budget request already includes funding for 29 missiles, and this extra funding line would bring that to 64 — the total needed to equip two medium-range missile batteries in the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment, the first unit created under Force Design 2030 to reflect how the service will operate in the future.
“As the Marine Corps’ first Ground Based Anti-Ship Missile (GBASM) capability, [Navy-Marine Corps Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System, or NMESIS], is a Service force modernization priority central to its contribution to the Naval Expeditionary Force’s (NEF) anti-surface warfare campaign. Ground based launchers add a new type of threat against a peer adversary, stress different surveillance and offensive systems, are hard to detect and track in a cluttered environment, and add a significant level of persistence and depth to existing anti-ship capabilities,” read the Marine Corps document, obtained by Defense News.
“NMESIS will be employed by [medium-range missile] batteries serving as part of an MLR conducting Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) while persisting inside the adversary’s weapons engagement zone (WEZ). When integrated into sensor and communication networks supporting a naval/maritime kill chain, and synchronized with employment of other missile systems, the Marine Corps’ [medium-range missile] battery will serve as a component of the NEF ‘stand-in force’ in support of the naval sea control effort,” the document stated.
The Marines also asked for $96m for 48 Tactical Tomahawk missiles. Though the service will start out using the Naval Strike Missile for medium-range land-based strike missions, the Tomahawk will help extend its reach into longer ranges, with the Marines planning to develop a new long-range anti-ship missile to control even greater swaths of sea from small expeditionary bases on land.
The Marines are keenly interested in sensors; Berger and other leaders have said that in a future fight, every Marine and every platform will have to act as a sensor, reading the immediate environment and sending that information to a network that can better make sense of the overall operating theater. The service expects to operate in small groups that are widely dispersed, making sensing and communicating key to winning the fight.
The Marines also included in the list five items related to the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar, or G/ATOR, program:
- $12m for a software modification that will allow the radar to join the Naval Integrated Fire Control network with other Navy and Marine Corps systems.
- $40m to buy 44 long-range radar retrofit kits that will give the G/ATOR longer range to operate in line with the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations concept, which involves small, dispersed units spread throughout wide areas of land and sea.
- $12m for research and development for a new radar signal processor.
- $285m to develop and implement an air traffic control capability within G/ATOR and procure eight systems, as well as fund interoperability testing with the related Common Aviation Command and Control System and fund certification testing with the Federal Aviation Administration.
- $23m to develop an air traffic control function within G/ATOR.
The unfunded list also requested investments in the MQ-9A Reaper drone, which would serve as an overhead sensor for the Marines and replace the smaller RQ-21 Blackjack as the service’s primary UAV for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The list included $40m to procure two of the aircraft, $20m for four ground control stations, and $20m in research and development funds to develop and test enhanced sensors.
The MQ-9A is a Group 5 UAV, the top category in terms of range and endurance, and will serve as the Marines’ medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV “to accomplish ‘deterrence through detection’ in the maritime environment,” according to the document.
The Marines’ FY22 budget request continues to move the Corps toward its Force Design 2030 vision by investing in several key programs. The NMESIS program creates a mobile capability to strike enemy ships at sea from beaches or positions farther inland. It combines an unmanned Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, called the Remotely Operated Ground Unit Expeditionary Fires Vehicle, with the Naval Strike Missile, also called the Ground-Based Anti-Ship Missile.
The budget also invests in the Tactical Communications Modernization radio program, including buying multichannel hand-geld radios and vehicle integration kits. And it buys 92 Amphibious Combat Vehicles and 613 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to modernize the service’s land and amphibious mobility.
Though the formal budget request begins with service-level input, it then goes to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and then up to the White House for approval, with cuts and changes made along the way to ensure the budget request is balanced and in line with administration priorities. (Source: Defense News)
02 June 21. Combating Climate Change Factors Into Defense Budget Request. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has said there is little that the department does that isn’t impacted by climate change. The President’s Fiscal 2022 Defense Budget Request reflects that reality.
Droughts, wildfires, sea level rise, increasing numbers of destructive storms and more are concerns for DOD. “If you think about what generates missions, we know that extreme weather events … are affecting conditions on the ground in lots of places around the world,” Joe Bryan, DOD’s senior climate advisor, said.
The Defense Department must take climate change under consideration in forming strategy, conducting operations and buying equipment and capabilities. In one of his first executive orders, President Joe Biden said climate change will be a fundamental part of national security planning.
From Africa to the Middle East to Central America, the impacts of climate change are already being felt, Bryan said. Climate events can affect ms of people and challenge the abilities of local governments to respond. Mass movements in the Americas, across the Mediterranean, in the Horn of Africa, and in other areas are contributing to instability. Bryan said such movements can feed criminal and terrorist networks that find displaced people either to exploit and abuse or recruit.
Bryan said climate change is also a factor in relationships between the U.S. and its near-peer competitors. Changes in the Arctic, sea level changes in the South China Sea and temperature changes in the oceans create new challenges for the U.S., allies and partners to face, Bryan said.
DOD installations are vulnerable to climate change, and Bryan pointed to the almost $4bn in damage to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, from Hurricane Michael in 2018 and the extensive damage to Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, from Hurricane Sally in 2020, as just two examples.
In addition, flooding along the Missouri River and waterways at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, caused more than $500m in damage in 2019 and will take years to repair. Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, estimate that the almost 900 buildings damaged by Hurricane Florence in 2018 will require about $3.5bn to repair. Wildfires are a problem in California and much of the west affecting Camp Pendleton, California; Fort Carson, Colorado; and other bases.
But it doesn’t require a storm to affect the mission. The number of high temperature “black flag” days at Fort Jackson, South Carolina — a major Army training base — cuts into training efforts, Bryan said.
Improving the resilience of these bases to extreme weather events is critical, Bryan said. “The things we do to improve resilience to extreme weather events, which we’re clearly facing, will also have payouts for things like cyber attacks,” Bryan said. “We rely on public infrastructure a lot, whether it’s water systems or electrical systems, so you have to figure out ways in which to improve the resilience of your military base and the critical functions [and] the critical missions that are run out of there.”
Bryan said one way to do this is to become extremely energy efficient. “One of the best building blocks of energy resilience and facility resilience is not demanding as much from the system,” he said.
Solar power and other forms of distributed generation are also key, and so is energy storage inside the fence line of bases close to the critical infrastructure where it is needed. “If you lose the commercial grid, you are more resilient and can continue the mission,” Bryan said. “They also happen to be quite good for the climate.”
These things — energy and water efficiency and distributed generation — can reduce logistic support and are also increasingly cost competitive. “The prices and the competitiveness of those products just now are far, far ahead of where we were five, six years ago,” Bryan said. “Battery prices have fallen by … 90 percent, and they’re more efficient.
“Ford just announced last week that they’re going to build an electric F-150 [pickup truck],” he said. “There’s going to be over 100 … electric vehicles on the market in the next couple of years. The market has made the decision that electrification of the transportation sector is the reality … And we as a department need to recognize that we’re not going to change the trajectory of that. We need to make sure we’re positioned to capitalize on the operational benefits of electrification … and that our installations can actually support a non-tactical fleet of the future.”
Bryan said the military is looking to leverage this new reality. “In the budget, we’re getting into some really interesting programs like hybridization of combat vehicles,” Bryan said.
Electric tactical vehicles can have advantages — silent watch, low heat signature, sprint speed and fewer logistical needs. The logistics are key because reducing the need for fuel and other lubricants means fewer vehicles are needed on the road, and that creates fewer targets for an enemy. “There are all kinds of combat-related benefits you can gain from really taking on new technologies that are now not hypothetical, but are commercial,” he said. The fiscal 2022 Defense Budget Request is only the start, Bryan said. (Source: US DoD)
02 June 21. Lockheed aims to produce 169 F-35 fighter jets in 2022. Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) aims to produce and deliver about 169 F-35 fighter jets in 2022, the U.S. weapons maker said on Wednesday at a conference hosted by brokerage Bernstein.
The company said it expects the production rate for the jets to eventually plateau at about 175 aircraft per year after 2022, based on the demand by the United States government and partner countries. read more
Lockheed’s decision to enter full rate production for the jets has been delayed as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted operations at aircraft manufacturers and their supply chains. The company is expected to deliver between 133 and 139 jets in 2021. (Source: Reuters)
02 June 21. Official Talks DOD Policy Role in Chinese Pacing Threat, Integrated Deterrence. Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, explained how his office will flesh out Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s wish that “resources must be matched to strategy, strategy matched to policy and policy matched to the will of the American people.”
Kahl spoke to an all-hands meeting of the policy office in the Pentagon last week. He spoke about “getting China right,” emphasized the importance of integrated deterrence, and called on members of the office to be flexible as they deal with a complicated, messy and often violent world.
The top priority for the department is getting China right, Kahl said. Austin has described China as America’s pacing threat, and the undersecretary spelled out what this means to members of the DOD. “It means that China is the only country that can pose a systemic challenge to the United States in the sense of challenging us, economically, technologically, politically and militarily,” he said.
Kahl was quick to point out that this does not mean an inevitable spiral into conflict between the U.S. and China. “It does mean that we will have a more competitive and, at times, … adversarial relationship with Beijing,” he said.
Kahl emphasized the need to “to get that [relationship] right” in a way that advances our interests, protects our security, enhances our prosperity, preserves our way of life and protects our allies “in the face of a lot of challenges from China across the board.”
He also emphasized that the DOD is just one of many U.S. agencies that must “get China right” saying that relations with the nation will require “arguably a whole of society” response. China requires short-term and medium-term policies, for sure, but it also requires agreement on long-term planning, he said. Policies with China must be effective for decades to come.
The U.S. has a powerful position, Kahl said. “My own view is that we win this competition by emphasizing our strengths,” he said. “Our strengths as an American society are … the innovative and creative and hardworking spirit of our people.”
“Our strengths are our values, because the competition with China is … a competition of systems,” he continued. “We have to prove that our government can function and that our democracy is still vibrant. And we need to play to our strengths, which is an unrivaled network of partners and allies around the world. It is the envy of the China’s and Russia’s and Iran’s and North Korea’s of the world.”
The U.S. must tend to the alliance system and modernize it and cultivate it, and there are roles for policy personnel in the effort.
Kahl spoke of the importance of integrated deterrence. “As we work on the national defense strategy, this concept of integrated deterrence will be a cornerstone of that approach,” he said.
Austin envisions this as integrating deterrence across domains of competition and conflict. The military already does a good job with this in the more conventional domains of land, sea and air. But integrated deterrence will include space and cyber domains and the informational world as well. “These are areas, frankly, where our peer competitors are pressing us, and we have hard thinking to do,” Kahl said.
Integrated deterrence also must be effective across the spectrum of conflict, he said. Russia and China will often operate in the “grey zone” short of conflict. “How do we deter and operate in that environment?” Kahl asked.
Integrated deterrence in this case may include the intelligence and information space. It may require economic actions and diplomatic efforts.
Integrated deterrence will also require allies and partners. “If we are really going to deter countries that are rising as fast as China, or are getting as assertive and aggressive as Russia, we’re going to need friends,” Kahl said. “We’re going to need to integrate them into our understanding of what deterrence means.”
U.S. policy personnel cannot take their eyes off the other parts of the world, the undersecretary said. Iran, North Korea and violent extremist groups remain persistent threats. The DOD will have to manage the risks around these threats differently.
“The real challenge is how do you address those persistent threats while managing the risks associated with what you’re doing in those other areas,” he said.
Finally, the policy personnel need to be ready, and ensure the department is ready, for transnational catastrophic threats. Kahl said the COVID-19 pandemic is a good example of that. He also said that the pandemic “won’t be the last pandemic in our lifetimes.”
Climate change also exacerbates many of the problems facing the world and is an existential problem on its own. DOD policy needs to understand the implications for the military from climate change and help military officials combat climate change itself, while dealing with the effects of the problem from increased violence of storms to rising sea levels to the opening of the Arctic and much, much more. (Source: US DoD)
27 May 21. SecDef: ‘Largest-Ever’ R&D Spending In ’22 Budget. President Biden’s first defense budget “biases the future, slightly,” over the present, but Gen. Mark Milley says he doesn’t see any one service taking precedence over another in the divvying up of money.
The 2022 defense budget will see “probably the largest ever request” for research and development to counter China’s increasing military prowess, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the House Appropriation defense subcommittee today.
Pumping money into new and emerging technologies has been a cornerstone of Biden administration messaging on the $715bn budget. But the overall budget is expected to fail to keep up with inflation, a fact that has drawn sharp criticism from Republicans and quiet opposition from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Testifying alongside Chairman of the Joint Chief, Gen. Mark Milley, Austin said the budget — which will be released tomorrow — will “see investments in missile defeat and defense. You’ll see a significant investment in our naval forces, long-range fires, and probably the largest-ever request for RDT&E for development of technologies.”
Austin and Milley declined share any details about specific parts of the budget, but the focus on emerging technologies will likely be a major theme this year and next as the Pentagon moves to retire old equipment and re-tool as the military pursues the new American way of war, All Domain Operations.
In 2021, the Trump administration requested $107bn for RDT&E, which will be the baseline for any increases this year.
Milley added that President Biden’s first defense budget “biases the future, slightly,” over the present, but he said that he doesn’t see any one service taking precedence over another in the divvying up of money.
It was a much less dire assessment than the one he gave in December, when he predicted a budgetary “bloodletting” to build more Navy ships and fund modernization for the Air and Space Forces. (That is probably because the Biden Administration largely inherited the Trump Administration’s budget plan for 2022, as is common with new administrations.)
“We are trying right now to put down payments on investments that are going to pay huge dividends 5, 10, 15 years from now,” Milley continued, “for a future force that’ll be able to compete successfully with any adversary out there, to include China. Long range precision fires are one of many of those capabilities and it’s important that all of the services have that capability.”
The reference to long-range fires comes from a recent dustup in which the commander of Air Force’s Global Strike Command said the Army’s effort to build long-range strike weapons was “a stupid idea” that was wasting money on something the Air Force “has mastered.”
MIlley said that all of the services need to invest in long-range precision fires in the coming years, and they need to be networked into a joint system.
The Army in particular “is not gonna get shortchanged in my view,” Milley said, as the focus shifts to building ships for the Navy and developing new aircraft for the Air Force. “I’ve looked at this budget very closely…I think it’s very balanced amongst all the services and develops their capabilities. The ‘big six’ the Army is developing for their modernization program…are all being very well funded in this budget.”
The Biden administration’s budget priorities were most fully outlined in a Feb. 17 memo by Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, which underscored the urgency the department has placed in a variety of major acquisition programs.
In the memo, Hicks directed the Office of the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) to review a handful of critical acquisition efforts, including shipbuilding, nuclear command, control, and communications, and long range fires. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
28 May 21. Pentagon wants to spend big on joint war-fighting systems. The breadth of the Pentagon’s multibillion-dollar investment in its centerpiece joint war-fighting strategy became clearer Friday in budget plans peppered with increases for the technologies essential for data-centric, networked battlefields of the future.
While the Defense Department’s fiscal 2022 budget request to Congress did not summarize high-level numbers for Joint-All Domain Command and Control, the services’ spending proposals provide clues, with allocation leaps for the Army teams working on the project and for the Air Force’s main contribution: the Advanced Battle Management System. The budget also highlights increased investment in emerging technologies that will make JADC2 systems run, including artificial intelligence projects that the DoD said increased by 50 percent.
The Air Force budget request contains the most substantial information about how much services might need to spend to reach the Pentagon’s vision of a connected force that can pass sensor data across domains in an instant to the soldier, airman, Marine or guardian who needs it. For ABMS, the service requested $204m, a $46m increase over the total enacted last year by Congress.
The Air Force wants the increase in order to improve information sharing across its fifth-generation tactical aircraft and command-and-control nodes. Related to its JADC2 efforts, the service asked for $8.8bn in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, which the service said underpins ABMS.
“This approach accelerates decision making, improves command and control, and achieves decision advantage ahead of competitors,” the request stated.
The U.S. Army’s requested budget signaled investment in its multidomain operations effort, known as Project Convergence. According to Army officials, the service plans to spend $106.8m on its Project Convergence demonstration, including $33.7m for operations and maintenance and $73.1m on research, development, testing and evaluation.
But the Army’s multidomain efforts extend beyond Project Convergence-dedicated funding. The Army’s modernization cross-functional teams also make key contributions to Project Convergence and the service’s overall multidomain operations. The eight teams would get $11.25bn, $1.76bn over their last combined budget.
The Army Network Cross-Functional team, which provides the network backbone of Project Convergence and JADC2, would receive a $537m increase for total budget of $2.7bn. Last year Congress awarded about $2.12bn to the network team.
Details are scant on the Navy’s JADC2 contribution, known as Project Overmatch. At the Navy’s budget briefing, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget Rear Adm. John Gumbleton said that Project Overmatch is funded across three classified research and development lines.
However, many Navy information warfare programs will be important to Overmatch, including network sensors, manned and unmanned platforms, electronic warfare and other C4ISR sensors. The Navy’s information warfare request increased $256m over its fiscal 2021 allocation to $5.87bn.
A major contribution of the U.S. Space Force to the DoD’s growing JADC2 infrastructure is the Unified Data Library, a cloud-based data storage platform. The Air Force sees UDL as the foundation of the ABMS data architecture. So far, the library is mostly known as the Space Force’s central space domain awareness database, consolidating information about objects on orbit from government, academic and commercial sources to create a common operating picture for the joint forces. But the service is keen to adapt the platform for more uses within the JADC2 framework. The fiscal 2022 budget proposal requests $17.1m for UDL.
With multidomain war-fighting efforts spread across services, a senior Joint Chiefs of Staff official said Thursday that the team need to closely coordinate their efforts.
“It means that we have to work together and work smart. And so we’re really looking at what can be leveraged. How do we reconcile the investments that are being made between the services and then how do we forge our way forward? So some of this is: Where do we eliminate duplication of effort?” Stuart Whitehead, the J-6 deputy director for cyber and command, control, communications and computers integration on the Joint Staff, said on a webinar.
The Pentagon is requesting $12.7bn for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems, up from its $11.9bn request last year. The increase is largely driven by $500m boost in technology development, as well as $600m increase in information security and assurance. The military wants to develop technologies including network gateways, management, waveforms and information assurance.
The efforts are part of an “overarching goal to defeat any adversary or control any situation across the full range of military operations is achieved through a broad array of capabilities enabled by an interconnected network of sensors, shooters, command, control, and intelligence,” the DoD budget weapons system budget book states.
As part of C4I systems, the department wants to increase spending for the Army’s Tactical Network Technology Modernization in Service program to $436.5m, up from $411.2m in fiscal 2021. That program allows Army and joint forces to access the DoD-Information Network and gives the military reliable connection to video, data, imagery and voice services. The program’s goal is to modernize the Army’s tactical network for multidomain operations.
In fiscal 2022, the service plans to upgrade TNT MIS for four expeditionary signal battalions-enhanced and 40 units across the Army, reserve and national guard to modernizing network transport systems and regional hub nodes, which direct DoD network traffic.
The department requested a $236.2m boost to the Army-led Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit radio that is required to meet the needs of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Special Operations Command. The HMS program includes one-channel rifleman radio, two-channel leader radio, and single-channel data radio in support of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System and Manpack radio.
The reprogrammable, networked, multinode radios support voice and data transmission needs across the joint force. The budget boost would fund procurement of leader radios, single channel data radio and manpack radios to five brigade combat teams and allows for follow-on testing for effectiveness, suitability and survivability.
Emerging technologies for JADC2
The Pentagon also wants to invest in a number of technologies that will enable JADC2, such as artificial intelligence and 5G networks. AI is a key component to almost every aspect of the military’s sensor-to-shooter plans. For example, the U.S. Army wants to use machine learning to process sensor data in near real time, automatically create targeting data for potential threats and recommend the best weapon system to respond.
The budget proposal counts 600 individual AI efforts across DoD — up 50 percent over fiscal 2021 — for which the Pentagon is seeking $874m.
The FY22 budget proposal would continue investment in 5G wireless networks, which enable transformational increases in bandwidth and speed to move data from sensors to shooters. The Pentagon is seeking nearly $400m for 5G efforts.
Perhaps most importantly, the Pentagon wants to continue putting money into microelectronics production, growing a domestic manufacturing base that can produce trusted components for DoD weapons systems. DoD describes the manufacturing base as “fragile and threatened,” forcing the military to rely on foreign-made components. The FY22 budget proposal sets apart $2.3bn for the government’s microelectronics efforts, improving domestic capacity, procuring sufficient quantities of legacy microchips to sustain weapon systems in the near term, and increasing access to advanced microchips for next-generation weapon systems. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
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 ($6.6bn). 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 – $2.5bn
- 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 ($20.6bn). 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 2.146m 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 1m 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)
29 May 21. DoD asks for more money and cyber mission. 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)
29 May 21. US Army’s budget backs modernization. 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 $1bn 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 $37m 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)
29 May 21. USAF to mothball dozens of A-10s. 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 $4.5bn 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 $220m.
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 $204m 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)
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 $211.7bn 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 $33m 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 $47.9m 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 finishing 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 take several billion 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.
Readiness spending. 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)
29 May 21. The Missile Defence Agency’s $8.9bn budget request focuses on next-gen defense. The Missile Defense Agency’s $8.9bn fiscal 2022 budget request focuses heavily on the development of future capabilities including a next-generation interceptor for homeland missile defense, a hypersonic defensive capability and space-based tracking critical to detecting challenging threats, according to budget documents released May 28. The budget request is down slightly from last year’s request of $9.2bn, but Congress in its FY21 spending bill injected $1.3bn into the agency’s budget. For next year, the agency is requesting $7.16bn in research, development, test and evaluation dollars, $1.24bn in procurement and $502m in operations and maintenance.
Some of the most significant efforts in FY22 include $926.1m to develop a next-generation interceptor for the U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System positioned in Alaska and California.
The MDA has chosen Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to compete head-to-head to win a contract to build the NGI with a plan to field the system in 2028. The funding will be able to carry both competitors through a critical design review stage, Vice Adm. Jon Hill, the Missile Defense Agency director told reporters at the Pentagon May 28.
The agency is requesting $1.9bn to support the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system. This includes plans to upgrade and replace ground system infrastructure as well as fire control and kill vehicle software, which leaders hope will contribute to a more reliable, capable and secure system.
The funding also includes acquiring five boosters to “ensure the number of fielded [ground-based interceptors] does not decrease through the [five-year development plan],” an agency budget document describes.
MDA is also asking for $61.4m for GMD testing in FY22 and another $156.6m to maintain and sustain the GMD system.
The Aegis weapon system program would receive $732.5m if enacted in FY22. Part of the funding covers software spiral development to keep pace against increasingly complex threats in more complex environments. The agency also plans to spend $647.4m on Aegis SM-3 missiles. That includes 40 SM-3 Block IB missiles and eight SM-3 Block IIA missiles.
The agency is also asking for $43.2m to modernize and test its Aegis Ashore capability at its test complex in Hawaii for implementation at operational sites in Romania and Poland. Romania reached operational capability in 2016 while Poland’s capability has been delayed to “no earlier than” FY22 due to construction issues having mostly to do with a local contractor. Included in that funding is work to harden the High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse Combat System at the Romanian site.
The land-based Aegis Ashore systems are part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to regional ballistic missile defense.
The Aegis test program would receive $117.1m if the request is approved.
The agency is planning to fund $78.3m to look at systems that could support the defense of Guam. “Funds support detailed threat and requirements analysis, systems engineering, trade studies, specifications updates and risk management in support if INDOPACOM stated needs,” the MDA budget overview states. The Pentagon is in the process of finalizing details of this system.
Additionally, MDA is asking for $40m to procure long-lead items in FY22 for Guam defense. “MDA plans to begin procuring materials that are common to the architectures under consideration including components for fire control, radar technology, and common display processing equipment,” a budget document states.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) program would get $649m to be upgraded to support emerging threats, testing, and procurement of 18 THAAD interceptors as well as regular operations and maintenance of existing batteries.
The agency’s pursuit of hypersonic defense capability would also receive funding to move forward in a program in FY22. The MDA wants to spend $247.9m to develop glide phase intercept capability as well as other technologies needed for a future architecture and to support the acceleration of an operational demonstration of the glide phase defense capability using the Aegis weapon system.
A small amount of funding — $14m — would address U.S. Northern Command’s requirements for cruise missile defense of the homeland. The money would help MDA begin development needed for the capability that would involved using the Joint Tactical Integrated Fire Control system.
The agency is also seeking $292.8m to fund two satellite programs: The Space-based Kill Assessment (SKA) project and the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS). SKA uses infrared sensors hosted on commercial satellites to detect whether interceptors successfully destroy incoming ballistic missile threats. FY22 funding will allow the agency to complete development of the operational hit assessment software code while further developing kill assessment algorithms and threat models. The agency also hopes to finalize integration of SKA with the all-domain Missile Defense System.
The other satellite system under that funding is HBTSS, a component of DoD’s new proliferated low Earth orbit (P-LEO) constellation being built in collaboration with the Space Development Agency and U.S. Space Force to defeat hypersonic weapons. Hypersonic weapons present a unique challenge to the military’s missile warning infrastructure, appearing too faint to be easily picked up by the U.S. Space Force’s satellites in geostationary orbit and being able to maneuver around terrestrial sensors. Under the Pentagon’s new architecture, SDA’s tracking layer satellites — operating far closer to the Earth’s surface — can detect the hypersonic threats. Tracking custody is then passed from satellite to satellite as the threat traverses the globe, before HBTSS take over with its more advanced sensors that can create targeting solutions for interceptors.
MDA issued $277m in contracts to L3Harris and Northrop Grumman in January to build two prototype HBTSS satellites to launch in FY23. In FY22, MDA plans to continue maturing its tracking algorithm and assemble and integrate the infrared sensors.
In addition to funding those two satellite systems, MDA is requesting $15.2m to retire its two Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) satellites. MDA used the program to demonstrate the ability to target and successfully intercept ballistic missiles with the use of on orbit sensors. Launched in 2009, the two satellites have operated long past their expected service life, continuing to help MDA reduce risk for future missile-tracking and surveillance satellite systems and support integrated BMDS testing. However, depleted fuel reserves and outdated control systems convinced the agency to finally retire the program. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
29 May 21. USMC continues to get smaller under latest budget proposal. The Marine Corps plans to continue downsizing, while asking for a slightly bigger budget, according to the 2022 budget request released on Friday. Overall the Corps’ budget increased to $47.86bn in 2022 from $45.06bn in 2021, despite plans to reduce the active duty manpower in the Marine Corps to 178,500, from the 181,200 Marines authorized in fiscal year 2021.
All of the cuts will come from the enlisted side, with the Corps planning on cutting 3,066 enlisted Marines. The Marine Corps plans on adding 366 officers during the same time period.
The Corps ultimately wants to cut to about 174,000 active-duty Marines by 2030, as it plans to modernize and focus on a war against a near-peer adversary like China or Russia.
If the Corps shrinks to 174,000 Marines it will line up with the end strength authorized in 2002, when the Marine Corps was just starting to grow after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The downsizing will come with “talent management reform,” which will ensure the Corps retains the “most talented Marines” and replaces “individuals leaving the Marine Corps with even more talented Marines,” a summary of the budget proposal said.
The Corps plans adopting a model that is “focused on the longer-term” and retaining the good Marines, rather than simply ensuring Marines make it through their first enlistment.
Berger’s vision of a dispersed forced that may give platoons responsibilities currently retained for companies or battalions, will require an older more experienced force.
While the Corps looks to shrink the active-duty force, it plans on increasing the reserves end force by 600 Marines in 2022, according to the budget proposal.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger has said he plans on using the money saved by shrinking the force, along with cutting “legacy” capabilities like tanks and tube artillery, to reinvest in the more important technology for the future war.
The budget proposal calls for $102.7m investment in research and development for the ground based anti-ship missile and the remotely operated ground unit expeditionary fires vehicle.
The system combined system basically removes the cab of the joint light tactical vehicle and straps a missile capable of sinking ships to the back.
The Marine Corps already tested the combination in early 2021 with some success.
“The experimentation that we’ve done now to date successfully using lightweight mounted fires ― think the back of a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle ― is killing armor at ranges, rough calculation, about 15, 20 times the range that a main battle tank can kill another main battle tank,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, deputy commandant for Combat Development and Integration, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.
The Corps also will increase its procurement budget for the amphibious combat vehicle, the replacement for the Vietnam-era amphibious assault vehicle, by $95m.
“The plan for the ACV is to increase the buy from 72 to 97 vehicles in FY22,” Navy Rear Adm. John Gumbleton, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget, said on Friday. “The tank divestiture is a piece of that.”
The Marine Corps slightly increased its procurement budget to $3bn in 2022 from $2.7bn in 2021.
The Marine Corps also hopes to increase its ammunition budget in the upcoming fiscal year, from $292m in 2021 to $427m in 2022.
The increase is a possible sign that Marines will spend more time in the field as the service conducts experiments on the best way to face off against China and Russia. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Marine Times)
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 $143m. 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 $40m 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)
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