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DOD budget for 2010 proposes $23.67 billion for military communications, electronics, and intelligence

By John Keller

WASHINGTON, 20 May 2009. Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) propose spending $23.67 billion in fiscal year 2010 for procurement and research in military communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence (CET&I) technologies, which would represent a slight decrease of 0.13 percent from current-year enacted levels of $23.7 billion, according to Pentagon budget documents.

This amount in the 2010 DOD budget does not include military electronics-heavy activities such as aircraft avionics, vetronics, and missile guidance; when these are added, DOD spending levels for electronics and electro-optics could approach $99.57 billion, industry analysts believe.

Experts estimate that total DOD electronics, electro optics, and information technology spending is roughly 15 percent of the total DOD budget. Most of the DOD's technology spending is in the procurement, research, and development accounts.

The DOD's CET&I budget request for next year consists of $11.83 billion in CET&T procurement -- down 12.4 percent from current-year levels of $13.47 billion -- and $11.84 billion in CET&I research and development -- up 15.65 percent from current-year levels of $10.23 billion.

This disparity between procurement and research spending for electronic and electro-optic technologies may indicate a long-term trend toward refurbishing the nation's military technology capabilities as active military operations draw down across the globe.

The U.S. Army in 2010 is asking for $13.12 billion in CET&I procurement and research -- down 2.8 percent from current-year levels of $13.48 billion. The Army's CET&I request consists of $6.73 billion in communications and electronics procurement, and $6.39 billion in communications and intelligence research and development.

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in 2010 are asking for $4.13 billion CET&I procurement and research -- down 10.44 percent from current-year levels of $4.61 billion. This request consists of $2.04 billion for Navy communications and electronics procurement, as well as $719.33 million in Marine Corps communications and electronics procurement, and $1.38 billion in combined Navy/Marine Corps communications and intelligence research.

The U.S. Air Force in 2010 is asking for $5.55 billion for CET&I procurement and research -- up 20.04 percent from current-year levels of $4.62 billion. The Air Force CET&I request consists of $2.29 billion for communications and telecommunications procurement, and $3.26 billion for intelligence and communications research and development.

Independent Pentagon agencies are asking for $869.21 million in CET&I procurement and research in 2010 -- down 9.87 percent from current-year levels of $964.37 million. This request consists of $57.1 million in communications and electronics procurement, and $812.13 million in intelligence and communications research and development.

In total for 2010, which begins next Oct. 1, DOD leaders are asking Congress for $663.8 billion -- $533.8 billion in discretionary spending, and $130 billion to support the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- which the Obama Administration calls "overseas contingency operations."

The DOD's proposed $533.8 billion discretionary budget includes spending proposals for military personnel, military construction, and family housing. This $533.8 billion base DOD budget is about 4 percent larger than the 2009 base DOD budget of $513.3 billion, according to Pentagon documents.

For procurement in 2010, DOD is asking Congress for $131.16 billion, which is down 1.57 percent from current-year procurement spending of $133.26 billion. For research and development, DOD proposes to spend $78.94 billion in 2010, which is down 3.41 percent from current-year spending of $81.73 billion. With DOD's 2010 budget proposal submitted in early May, it now is up to Congress to authorize or reject the military's spending proposals.


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