U.S. House and Senate lawmakers completed the conference markup of the FY19 defense authorization bill on July 23. The defense policy bill adheres to the spending levels agreed upon in the bipartisan budget act, providing a defense base budget of $639.1 billion. That figure comprises $616.9 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Defense, $21.9 billion for nuclear programs in the Department of Energy, and around $300 million for defense-related activities outside the DoD. Another $69 billion is provided for Overseas Contingency Operations, for a total of $708.1 billion in discretionary defense spending. When including $8.9 billion in mandatory spending, the FY19 topline authorized in the legislation totals $717 billion. The separate congressional appropriations process will finalize how much money the military actually has available to spend in FY19.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is poised for a boost in 2019, as two U.S. congressional defense panels have signed off on additional aircraft for the Department of Defense. Precisely how many additional aircraft each service will receive must be ironed out in conference committee. This plus-up contrasts with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, both of which expressed concern about the F-35 production ramp-up. Continue reading
The U.S. Navy’s need to exchange information rapidly is fueling an $800 million funding stream for tactical datalinks over the next 10 years (2018-2027). This projection from Forecast International is nearly double the amount it forecast for the decade 2017-2026, in part the result of the Tactical Data Link program’s new Network Tactical Common Data Link project. Continue reading
Yahsat has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Thuraya. Both companies are based in the United Arab Emirates. Yahsat primarily provides fixed satellite services (FSS), while Thuraya chiefly provides mobile satellite services (MSS). Continue reading
Can the U.S. Congress force the Air Force into reinstating the JSTARS Recapitalization program? According to the HASC’s Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee’s markup of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Bill, there is a good possibility that it can. Continue reading
President Trump and congressional leaders reached an agreement that will keep the U.S. government operating at FY17 funding levels through mid-December. The continuing resolution (CR), part of a broader legislative package that also included a three-month increase to the debt ceiling and nearly $8 billion in hurricane relief funding, was signed into law on September 8. Republicans had been pushing for a longer extension to the debt ceiling, but the agreement sets up critical votes on both the budget and the debt ceiling in December. Continue reading
Forecast International is pleased to announce the launch of a newly enhanced U.S. Defense Budget Forecast database, now featuring the ability to track major program spending and identify winners and losers within every Pentagon budget request. FI’s budget database provides quick access to DoD request and forecast budget data, justification documents, congressional markups, and more. The Pentagon’s massive weapons spending plan can be sorted by value, with options for filtering programs by appropriation title (R1/P1), service, and appropriation account. Continue reading
With the original group of Dolphin-class submarines designed to have a hull life of 30 years and a design initiation-to-commissioning cycle of at least 10-15 years, attention turned to designing replacements for the first three submarines in 2015. At first, Israeli ambitions seemed somewhat excessive, with references to “an entirely different submarine from the Dolphin or the Dolphin AIP.” Reality appears to have set in, however, with attention now focused on an upgraded version of the Flight II Dolphin class that includes “some room for growth, with new materials, better sonar … but pretty much the same design.” Continue reading
Today, more and more nations are using highly advanced diesel-electric submarines that are extremely difficult to detect. And, the U.S. Navy has been forced to rely once again on its Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) – not seen in priority use since the height of the Cold War. This sonar system is considered essential to America’s efforts to detect newer and quieter diesel-electric submarines, especially those operating in the littoral environment. Continue reading
Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. mission that provided disaster relief to Japan following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, attached newfound significance to the need to update the radiation detection devices that equip surface warships.