Military spending for communications and electronics down one-fourth over two years

WASHINGTON, 11 April 2013. Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) propose spending $11.6 billion in federal fiscal year 2014 for procurement and research in military communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence (CET&I) technologies.

That level of $11.6 billion would represent a military budget cut of 14.51 percent from the DOD's 2013 CET&I request, and a two-year cut of nearly 24 percent from 2012 enacted levels of 15.14 billion. The Pentagon's 2014 budget proposal was released on Wednesday.

The 2014 DOD request for CET&I procurement and research does not include military activities with substantial electronics content, such as aircraft avionics, vetronics, and missile guidance; when these are added, DOD spending levels for military electronics and defense electro-optics could approach $80 billion, industry analysts believe.

Experts estimate that total DOD electronics, information technology, and electro-optics 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 Pentagon's total budget request for fiscal 2014, which begins next 1 Oct., is $526.6 billion in discretionary budget authority, which is up from last year's request of $525.4 billion. Now the DOD's budget goes to Congress for consideration.

The DOD's CET&I budget request for next year includes $8.6 billion in CET&I procurement -- down 9.7 percent from this year's request of $9.5 billion, and down 16.5 percent from 2012 enacted levels of $10.3 billion.

The DOD's total CET&I budget request also includes $3.02 billion for CET&I research and development, which is down 14.51 percent from the 2013 CET&I research and development request of $4.08 billion, and is down 37.5 percent from 2012 enacted levels of $4.83 billion for CET&I research and development.

The U.S. Army in 2014 is asking for $4.5 billion in CET&I procurement and research, which is down 14.2 percent from this year's request of $5.2 billion. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in 2014 are asking for $3.7 billion in CET&I procurement and research, which is down 13.3 percent from this year's request of $4.2 billion.

The Air Force next year is asking for $2.9 billion for CET&I procurement and research, which is down 14.9 percent from this year's request of $3.4 billion. Service-independent Pentagon agencies in 2014 are asking for $507 million for CET&I procurement and research, which is down 23 percent from the 2013 request of $658 million.

In total for 2014, DOD leaders are asking Congress for $166.83 billion for procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), which is down 11.3 percent from this year's request of $188.1 billion.

Overall, DOD is asking Congress next year for $526.6 billion in discretionary budget authority, which is up slightly from last year's request of $525.4 billion.

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