Warfighter Support Tops Modernization Spending in Budget Request
By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2007 President Bush’s fiscal 2008 budget request seeks to pump more money into the development of future capabilities that will support America’s warfighters.
Strategic modernization of the force accounts for 38 percent, or $176.8 billion, of the $481.4 billion defense budget request the president submitted to Congress today.
The budget request reflects an overall $49 billion increase over fiscal 2007, and developing future capabilities accounts for 18 percent, or $8.8 billion, of that increase.
Within the strategic modernization arena, procurement accounts for roughly $101.7 billion and research, development, testing and evaluation takes the rest, at about $75.1 billion.
The Navy takes the top spot for procurement requests, ringing in at $38.7 billion. Its budget supports a 30-year shipbuilding plan that includes eight ships. Consequently, shipbuilding and conversion makes up the largest slice of the Navy’s procurement budget at $13.7 billion, followed closely by aircraft procurement at $12.7 billion.
Just more than $9.8 billion is requested for warship procurement. This includes an aircraft carrier, a Virginia-class submarine, a Landing Platform Dock 17 San Antonio-class amphibious transport ship and three littoral combat ships for close-to-shore operations.
For aircraft procurement, the department will spend the most, or $8.7 billion, on combat aircraft, including funding 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, a carrier-based, fighter-attack aircraft, and 18 EA-18G Growlers, a carrier-based electronic warfare version of the Hornet. The EA-18G will replace the Navy's EA-6B Prowler. A little more than $1.2 billion is slated for six of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.
As part of the Navy’s budget request, the Marines are asking for nearly $3 billion in procurement funds. This will include almost $2.4 billion in weapons and combat vehicles. In the budget, the Corps is slated to receive 21 MV-22 Ospreys, a tilt-rotary, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft used in special operations missions.
The Navy is asking for $17 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation. More than $7.8 billion is planned for system development and demonstration. This includes nearly $900 million for the multi-mission maritime aircraft and $854 million for the Navy’s joint tactical radio system.
Nearly $3 billion will go toward advanced component development and prototypes. This includes nearly $300 million for the Marine Corps assault vehicle and $134 million for advanced submarine system development.
The Air Force follows the Navy in its request for procurement dollars, asking for $33.8 billion. Its $12.4 billion aircraft procurement request includes $5 billion for combat aircraft and $1 billion for airlift aircraft.
The budget request calls for 20 F-22 Raptors, the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft, and six F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters. It also asks for five V-22 Ospreys.
The Air Force is asking for $26.7 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation. The department plans to spend more than $4.3 billion on system development and demonstration.
Nearly $300 million is earmarked for operation systems development of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. It provides Air Force and joint battlefield commanders near-real-time, high-resolution, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery.
The Army is asking for just more than $24 billion in procurement dollars. About $4 billion will also go toward aircraft purchases, including 37 armed reconnaissance, 44 light utility helicopters, 42 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and 29 CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The remaining funds are earmarked for aircraft modifications to current aircraft inventory.
Another $3 billion will go toward Army combat and support vehicles, with the largest slice going for 127 Stryker combat vehicles and 180 armored security vehicles. The Army will spend another $1 billion on weapons and other combat vehicles, including $97.6 million for nearly 70,000 M-4 carbine rifles and $35.3 million for more than 8,300 M-249 squad automatic weapons.
More than $4.6 billion is earmarked for tactical and support vehicles. Communications and electronics equipment rings in at more than $5.7 billion, and other support equipment tops out at roughly $2.3 billion.
The Army has asked for $10.6 billion in research, development, testing and evaluation.
System development and demonstration absorbs nearly half of that at $5.2 billion. This includes funds for the Future Combat System’s program management and manned and command ground vehicles. It also includes funding for the non-line-of-sight launch system and cannon.
Applied research into projects such as night vision technology, countermine systems and ballistics technology make up about $686 million.
Advanced technology development includes combating terrorism, technology development and electronic warfare technology. It makes up about $736 million. In advanced component development and prototypes, more than $222 million will go toward developing the tactical Warfigther Information Network.
The DoD budget request also calls for more than $8.8 billion in program acquisition costs for missile defense.