U.S. spending for intelligence and battle management headed down over next decade

ARLINGTON, Va.–U.S. military spending for electronics-rich intelligence, battle management, and related areas is expected to drop by 30 percent over the next 10 years, from $47.8 billion in 2009 to $36.7 billion in 2019, say defense industry analysts of the Government Electronics Industry Association (GEIA) segment of the Information Technology Association of America in Arlington, Va.

Dec 1st, 2008

By John Keller

ARLINGTON, Va.–U.S. military spending for electronics-rich intelligence, battle management, and related areas is expected to drop by 30 percent over the next 10 years, from $47.8 billion in 2009 to $36.7 billion in 2019, say defense industry analysts of the Government Electronics Industry Association (GEIA) segment of the Information Technology Association of America in Arlington, Va.

This rate of spending for command, control, communications, intelligence, computers, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) will decrease at a combined annual growth rate of 7.3 percent from 2009 to 2014, and then grow at a combined annual growth rate of 2.3 percent from 2014 to 2019, say GEIA analysts in their annual 10-year forecast of U.S. defense spending.

C4ISR procurement over the next decade is expected to decline from $30.1 billion in 2009 to $25 billion in 2019, while C4ISR research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) is expected to drop from $17.7 billion in 2009 to $11.7 billion 2019, GEIA analysts say.

These figures are in current-year dollars, which does not account for projected monetary inflation.

Projected declines in C4ISR spending parallel overall anticipated reduced or flat spending for in U.S. defense in procurement and RDT&E, GEIA analysts say. Over the next decade military procurement spending is expected to increase slightly from $101.15 billion to $102.53 billion.

The procurement account is for new ships, aircraft, and combat vehicles, and electronic equipment–as well as for repair and upgrades, which U.S. forces severely need after so many years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

GEIA predicts a decrease in the overall defense RDT&E budget over the next decade from $78.1 billion to $55.54 billion in 2019. That means less for developing new weapons and technologies.

Overall, GEIA predicts the entire defense budget might have an insignificant increase over the next 10 years. The organization’s latest figures have the DOD budget increasing from $491 billion to $534 billion between 2009 and 2019.

Among the reasons for projected stagnant or decreased spending for military procurement and RDT&E are expected hefty increases in military operations and maintenance spending, and for spending to support expected increases in Army and Marine Corps personnel.

GEIA predicts the operations and maintenance account will increase from $167.92 billion to $229.1 billion over the next 10 years. That’s where the fuel costs are, as well as food, clothing, and related expenses.

More in Communications