DOD set to boost spending for communications, electronics, and intelligence

Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) propose spending $29.16 billion in fiscal year 2009 for procurement and research in communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence (CET&I) technologies, which would represent an 8.5 percent increase from current-year enacted levels.

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By John Keller

WASHINGTON—Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) propose spending $29.16 billion in fiscal year 2009 for procurement and research in communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence (CET&I) technologies, which would represent an 8.5 percent increase from current-year enacted levels.

This amount does not include electronics-heavy activities such as avionics, vetronics, and missile guidance; when these are added, DOD spending levels for electronics and electro-optics could approach $77 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.

For 2009, which begins next Oct. 1, DOD leaders overall are asking Congress for $515.4 billion in discretionary spending, which would be a 7.5 percent increase over the 2008 congressionally enacted level of $479.5 billion.

The DOD’s proposed $515.4 billion discretionary spending budget includes proposals for military personnel, military construction, and family housing.

For procurement, DOD is asking Congress for $104.22 billion, which is down 17.53 from current-year procurement spending of $126.36 billion. For research and development, DOD proposes to spend $79.62 billion in 2009, which is up 4.62 percent from current-year spending of $76.88 billion. With DOD’s 2009 budget proposal submitted in early February, it now is up to Congress to authorize or reject the military’s spending proposals.

Air Force spending

The U.S. Air Force, which spends the most, by far, of any U.S. military service on electronics and electro-optics, is proposing to spend $14.89 billion in 2009 for communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence procurement and research—an 8.9 percent increase over current-year appropriations of $13.67 billion.

The Air Force’s budget request includes $2.09 billion to procure electronics and telecommunications equipment—a 0.1 percent increase over current spending of $2.01 billion, and $12.79 billion for research into intelligence and communications—a 10.98 percent increase over the 2008 level of $11.65 billion.

In total, the Air Force next year plans to spend $35.24 billion for procurement, and $28.07 billion on research and development.

Highlights of the Air Force’s technology procurement requests include $337.2 million for base information infrastructure, $293.2 million for tactical communications and electronics equipment, $137.9 million for communications security equipment, and $106.3 million for space-based military satellite communications systems.

Air Force researchers next year propose to spend $842.97 million on the Transformational Satellite Communications (TSAT) program, $388.04 million on the space-based Advanced EHF military satellite communications system, $304.36 million on the Global Positioning System Operational Control Segment, $289.47 million on the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System known as NPOESS, $529.77 million on the Space-Based Infrared System High, and $1.52 billion on the Joint Strike Fighter.

Army spending

The U.S. Army is proposing to spend $5.7 billion for CET&I procurement and research—a 2.37 percent increase from current-year spending levels of $5.57 billion.

The Army’s budget request includes $5.31 billion for communications and electronics procurement—a 4.1 percent increase from current levels of $5.1 billion, and $389.99 million for intelligence and communications research and development—a 16.54 percent cut from the current level of $467.29 million.

In total, the Army next year plans to spend $25.05 billion on procurement and $10.52 billion on research and development.

Highlights of the Army’s technology procurement requests include $1.17 billion on the Stryker armored vehicle, $161.9 million on the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, $692.8 million for M-1 Abrams main battle tank modifications and upgrades, $287.6 million on the Warfighter Information Network- Tactical (WIN-T) ground forces tactical network, $316.6 million on the Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS), $178 million on the Distributed Common Ground Station-Army, $465.6 million on night-vision devices, and $416.9 million on the Night Vision Thermal Weapon Sight.

Army researchers next year propose to spend $2.87 billion on FCS, $356.43 million for the Aerostat Joint Program Office, $414.36 million for the WIN-T, and $452.79 million for aircraft modifications/product improvement programs.

Navy spending

Of the three military services, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have the smallest 2009 budget for procurement and research in communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence technologies. Next year, the Navy plans to spend $4.3 billion on CET&I procurement and research—a 1.5 percent increase from the current level of 4.24 billion.

The Navy’s 2009 budget request includes $2.04 billion for communications and electronics procurement, up 13.57 percent from current-year levels of $1.8 billion, and $1.71 billion on intelligence and communications research and development programs—a 20.39 percent increase from 2008 spending of $1.42 billion.

In total, the Navy and Marine Corps next year plans to spend $39.14 billion on procurement, and $19.34 billion on research and development.

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Highlights of the Navy’s technology procurement requests for next year include $2.1 billion to build one Virginia-class attack submarine, $2.5 billion to build one DDG 1000 missile destroyer, $232.4 million for cruiser modernization, $284.2 million for attack submarine acoustics, $333.3 million for ship communications automation, and $122 million for satellite communications systems.

Navy researchers next year propose to spend $371 million for the Littoral Combat Ship, $484.2 million for the Advanced Hawkeye carrier-based patrol aircraft, $834.65 million for the Joint Tactical Radio System, $234.65 million for Standard Missile improvements, $1.53 billion for the Joint Strike Fighter, $275.8 million for the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, $480.1 million for Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and $273.7 million for Marine Corps communications systems.

Defense agencies spending

U.S. defense agencies in 2009 plan to spend $4.79 billion on procurement, and $2.5 billion on research and development. Defense agencies include such organizations as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Of all the defense agencies, the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) by far has the largest procurement budget (separate from research efforts), with a 2009 request of $1.46 billion. The Chemical and Biological Defense Program is requesting $467.2 million for procurement next year, and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is asking for $361.1 million.

One of the perennial heavy hitters of defense-wide research programs—the Missile Defense Agency (MDA)—proposes spending $8.9 billion next year. MDA research projects next year include $2.08 billion for the ballistic missile defense midcourse defense segment; $1.16 billion for shipboard Aegis ballistic missile defense; $1.02 billion for the ballistic missile defense terminal defense segment; and $1.08 billion for ballistic missile defense sensors.

DARPA proposes a research budget next year of $3.29 billion. DARPA research projects proposed for next year include $339 million for command, control, and communications systems, $226.47 million for sensor technology, and $201.15 million for advanced electronics technologies.

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