2022 DOD budget proposes record spending next year for U.S. military research and technology development

June 3, 2021
Pentagon experts want $111.96 billion in 2022 for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), which would be a 4.2 percent increase from 2021.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) leaders are asking for a record amount of money next year -- nearly $122 billion -- to fund technology development in microelectronics, hypersonics, artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, and similar high-priority military capabilities.

Pentagon experts are asking Congress for $111.96 billion in federal fiscal year 2022 for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), which would be a 4.2 percent increase from the $107.45 billion that Congress allocated in 2021. Federal fiscal year 2022 begins next 1 Oct.

The U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Space Force all would receive spending increases for research in the 2022 DOD budget, while the U.S. Army, and defense-wide agencies would receive modest cuts.

The Air Force would be the biggest research spender next year, with a request of $39.18 billion -- up 7.8 percent from current-year levels of $36.36 billion.

Related: Proposed 2022 DOD budget would increase defense spending to $715 billion -- $9.6 billion over this year

One of the largest Air Force research programs is the future Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (NG OPIR) strategic missile warning system to blend mature resiliency features to increase survivability in a contested environment, for which Air Force experts want to spend $2.45 billion for advanced component development and prototypes.

The Air Force also wants to spend $264.3 million for military research on GPS III Follow-on satellite navigation system development and demonstration; $221.5 million on National Security Space Launch Program full-scale development; $127.9 million on Polar MILSATCOM satellite communications; and $127 million on Space Situation Awareness Systems.

The U.S. Navy would spend $22.64 billion next year on technology research, up from $20.14 billion this year. The Navy wants to spend $134.3 million in operational systems development to upgrade and modernize the RQ-4 Global Hawk long-range surveillance unmanned aircraft; $133.5 million on anti-radar missile improvement; $132.2 million to upgrade the Tomahawk cruise missile and Tomahawk Mission Planning Center (TMPC); $176.5 million to improve the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system; $177.1 for strategic submarine weapons systems; and $114.5 million to improve the MK 48 advanced capability torpedo.

Navy officials also want to spend $1.37 billion on the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) non-nuclear hypersonic weapon system; $343.5 million on Standard Missile improvements; $243.9 million to develop the Next-Generation Jammer (NGJ) Increment II; $144.8 million to develop medium and large unmanned surface vehicles (USVs); $109.5 million on open-ocean frigate development; $102.8 million on developing a ground-based anti-ship missile; $99.8 million on advanced submarine systems development; $88.1 million on large unmanned undersea vehicles; $84.7 million on small and medium unmanned undersea vehicles; $81.8 million on directed-energy and electric weapon systems; $60 million on medium unmanned surface vehicles (MUSVs); $58 million on surface and shallow-water mine countermeasures; $17.6 million on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) technology; and $13.4 million on non-lethal weapons development.

Related: DOD budget pushing house cleaning pivot to leading-edge technologies: out with the old and in with the new

The U.S. Army wants to spend $12.8 billion on research next year, which is down from $14.14 billion this year. Included is $233.5 million for Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 - Block 1; $213.3 million for 155-millimeter self-propelled howitzer cannon improvements; and $211.5 million for combat vehicle improvement programs.

Army officials also want to spend $188.5 million for the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM); $111.5 million for hypersonic weapons development; $63.9 million for the Guided Multiple-Launch Rocket System (GMLRS); $57.7 million for the AN/TPQ-53 counter-fire target acquisition radar system; $8.9 million for anti-tamper technology; $5.7 million for electronic warfare system development; and $1.2 million for a family of biometric systems.

Defense agencies within the Pentagon have asked Congress for $25.86 billion in 2022, which is down from current-year levels of $26 billion. The largest spender would be the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), which has asked for $7.16 billion, which is down from $7.86 billion this year. Next is the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which has asked for $5.23 billion. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has asked for $3.53 billion, while the Space Development Agency has asked for $808.8 million; the Special Operations Command for $695.6 million; the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for $634.9 million; the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for $377.8 million; and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for $251.9 million.

The Missile Defense Agency wants to spend $745.1 million on the ballistic missile defense midcourse segment; $732.5 million on Aegis shipboard ballistic missile defense technologies; $603.4 million on ballistic missile defense command and control; $553.3 million for ballistic missile defense targets; $224.8 million on ballistic missile defense sensors; $147.2 on the sea-based X-band radar; and $247.9 million on hypersonic missile defense.

Related: Pentagon seeks $104.29 billion military research budget for 2020 -- an increase of 8.7 percent

The Office of the Secretary of Defense wants to spend $623.1 million on trusted and assured microelectronics; $168.8 million on high-energy laser weapons research; $51.3 million for joint hypersonic technology development; $31.6 million for cyber resiliency and cyber security policy; $18.2 million for joint electronics advanced technology; and $15.4 million for cyber security research.

DARPA would spend $584.8 million on network-centric warfare technology; $474.1 million on basic and advanced electronics technologies; $294.8 million for sensor technology; and $251.8 million for command, control, and communications systems.

Special Operations Command would spend $173.5 million on special-ops aviation systems; $32.8 million on intelligence systems development; $19.1 million on upgrades to the MQ-9 unmanned aircraft; $18 million on unmanned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; $7.7 million on special forces tactical vehicles; and $6 million on distributed common ground and surface systems.

DISA, meanwhile, would spend $196.7 million on joint artificial intelligence programs; $19.3 million for defense spectrum organization; $10.3 million on long-haul communications; $5.7 million for the Information Systems Security Program; and $4.9 million for the Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN).

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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