DOD earmarks at least $31.6 billion for C4ISR procurement and research next year

WASHINGTON-Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) plan to spend at least $31.6 billion next year for activities related to command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR), according to Pentagon budget documents.

The $31.6 billion the military plans to spend on C4ISR in fiscal 2013 is down 10.92 percent from the $35.47 billion in the Pentagon's current-year budget, and is down 16.8 percent from 2011 C4ISR spending levels. Federal fiscal year 2013 begins next Oct. 1.

These numbers are derived from a line-by-line analysis of the 2013 DOD budget request for procurement, as well as for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), and do not reflect potential spending in the Pentagon's operations and maintenance or other budget requests.

In 2013, DOD plans to spend at least $22.78 billion for C4ISR-related procurement, and $8.82 billion for C4ISR research and development. The procurement figure is down 11.82 percent from the current-year level of $25.83 billion, and is down 17.14 percent from 2011 levels of $27.49 billion. In the research and development accounts, proposed C4ISR spending is down 8.5 percent from current-year levels of $9.64 billion, and down 13.59 percent from 2011 levels of $10.21 billion.

The U.S. military faces a 10-percent budget cut next year for C4ISR.
The U.S. military faces a 10-percent budget cut next year for C4ISR.

C4ISR procurement

Big-ticket items in the Pentagon's procurement blueprint for 2013 include a proposed $2.67 billion purchase of 13 Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, which are ruggedized versions of the Boeing 737 passenger jetliner modified for long-range oceanic surveillance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

The Navy also has earmarked $1.1 billion to buy 12 Boeing EA-18G electronic warfare aircraft, as well as $1.02 billion to buy five E-2D Advanced Hawkeye carrier-based radar surveillance and early warning aircraft.

The U.S. Army next year plans a $950.5 million contribution to support the Attack the Network project of the Joint IED Defeat Organization to destroy complex networks of financiers, improvised explosive device (IED) makers, trainers, and their supporting infrastructure by providing intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance, information operations, counter-bomber targeting, biometrics, and weapons technical intelligence capabilities.

The U.S. Air Force also has big C4ISR procurement plans for next year, including $941.6 million to buy two Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS)-High satellites from prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The SBIRS-High system will consist of dedicated satellites operating in geosynchronous Earth orbit with on-board sensors to detect strategic and theater ballistic missile launches.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) plans to spend $460.73 million next year to buy 36 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile-defense systems from prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. Space Systems segment in Sunnyvale, Calif.; and $389.63 million to buy 29 ship-based Aegis ballistic missile defense systems.

C4ISR research

Among the largest C4ISR-related research projects planned for next year is a $657.48 million Navy initiative to continue development of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-a maritime-patrol version of the Global Hawk long-range surveillance UAV.

The Air Force next year plans to spend $448.59 million on full-scale development of the SBIRS-High ballistic-missile detection system. This part of the program involves SBIRS-High engineering and manufacturing development. The Air Force also plans to spend $371.6 million on continuing development of the GPS III satellite navigation operational control segment.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to spend $392.42 million next year on information and communications technology development; $299.44 million on sensor technology development; $237.86 million on command, control, and communications systems development; and $236.89 million on network-centric warfare technology.

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