Military electronics spending for communications and intelligence heading upward in 2017

WASHINGTON, 15 Feb. 2016. U.S. military electronics spending is set for substantial increases next year, as the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is asking Congress for $10.74 billion in fiscal 2017 for procurement and research in military communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence (CET&I) technologies.

Military electronics spending for communications and intelligence heading upward in 2017
Military electronics spending for communications and intelligence heading upward in 2017
WASHINGTON, 15 Feb. 2016. U.S. military electronics spending is set for substantial increases next year, as the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is asking Congress for $10.74 billion in fiscal 2017 for procurement and research in military communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence (CET&I) technologies.

The 2017 DOD budget CET&I request is up 5.1 percent from the $10.09 billion that Congress allocated for these accounts this year. The Pentagon released its 2017 DOD budget request last week.

The $10.74 billion request for communications, electronics, telecommunications, and intelligence equipment and research is the highest in at least three years. These accounts contained $15.1 billion as recently as fiscal 2012.

The 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. It also does not include DOD-wide agency spending for CET&I activities.

When all of these additional DOD electronics-heavy accounts are added, Pentagon spending levels for military electronics and defense electro-optics next year could approach $90 billion, industry analysts believe.

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The DOD's CET&I budget request for fiscal 2017, which begins next October, includes $7.47 billion for procurement, which is up 3.6 percent from this year's congressional enacted level of $7.11 billion.

The proposed budget also requests $3.37 billion for CET&I research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), which is up 13.3 percent from this year's enacted level of $2.97 billion.

Highlights of the Army's CET&I 2017 procurement budget request includes $437.17 million for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Ground Forces Tactical Network; $43.81 million for the Defense Enterprise Wideband Satellite Communications Systems; $273.65 million for the Handheld Manpack Small Form Fit (HMS) digital radio; $131.36 million for communications security; and $192.04 million for the Distributed Common Ground System - Army (DCGS-A).

Related: Pentagon seeks military budget reductions in President Obama's last year in office

Highlights of the Navy's CET&I request include $248.77 million for fast attack submarine acoustic equipment; $274.89 million for AN/SLQ-32 shipboard electronic warfare (EW) equipment; $145.7 million for the Fixed Surveillance System deep-sea sonar system; $212.03 million for the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) tactical shipboard network; $102.48 million for shipboard tactical communications; and $170.73 million fro shipboard information warfare.

The Air Force CET&I request includes $98.45 million for air traffic control and landing systems; $72.36 million for communications security equipment; $198.92 million for the Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN); and $117.94 million for tactical communications and electronics equipment.

The overall 2017 DOD budget request asks Congress for a total of $583 billion, whereas the 2016 total request was for $585.2 billion. It would reduce overall Pentagon spending by $2.2 billion over last year's request, and proposes a $10.3 billion cut from the 2016 request in discretionary spending for crucial accounts like procurement, research, operations, maintenance, military construction, salaries, and health care.

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