2012 US Defense Budget Story from AW&ST

bobbymike

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Pentagon Request Makes Cuts, Cites New Investments

Feb 14, 2011

By Amy Butler abutler@aviationweek.com, Michael Bruno michael_bruno@aviationweek.com

WASHINGTON,

The Pentagon is requesting $671 billion in spending for Fiscal 2012, including $553 billion in the base budget and almost $118 billion for war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The administration’s plans seek savings in part from cost-cutting measures like consolidation of several Air Force operation centers and reduced Army construction costs, as well as the Navy’s expanded use of multiyear procurement strategies, officials said Feb. 14. At the same time, the White House and the Pentagon will continue to ramp up unconventional warfare capabilities in nuclear, cyber and CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive) investments as the national security complex starts to shift in earnest to post-Iraq/Afghanistan contingencies.

The new topline of $671 billion is a reduction from the 2011 request — which Congress has yet to appropriate — and stems mostly from the drawdown in Iraq and the expectation of reduced operations there. The 2011 estimate for Iraq operations was $46 billion; the 2012 plan is for $11 billion. The proposal includes about $10.7 billion for missile defense, $4.8 billion for the purchase of unmanned aerial systems and $10 billion for rotary-wing aircraft. The total procurement request for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 is $113 billion, up from the $104.8 billion estimated through the continuing resolution funding potentially all of 2011. The research and development request is for $75.3 billion, down from the $80.4 billion set aside through the 2011 process. The R&D request in 2012 is lower than the 2010 request, which was $79.3 billion. New in 2012 is an intended program for a new long-range, penetrating, nuclear-capable and optionally-manned bomber. The Air Force says that $3.7 billion is set aside for the Long-Range Strike family of systems in 2012-2016; a portion of that is for the bomber. Nearly $200 million is included in 2012 for the bomber, roughly the same amount as in 2011. Details on the program’s plans will not likely be made public, as Air Force officials say they will be classified.

This budget request includes a suggested $100.2 billion in proposed cuts; these are deemed “efficiencies” by the Defense Department as it seeks to reinvest this money in other, higher priority projects. The cuts were touched on Jan. 6 by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Among the projects proposed for termination is an Air Force Infrared Search and Track program, cancellation of Army procurement of the surface-launched AIM-120 missile and Non-line of Sight Launch System (both are Raytheon projects), a Joint Multi-Mission Submersible program handled by U.S. Special Operations Command and the elimination of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (Aerospace DAILY, Jan. 7). The Marine variant of the F-35, the “B” short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) version, also has been put on probation by Gates for two years pending better performance in testing. The Navy plans to buy 41 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to make up for some of the shortfall left in the Navy by the lack of availability of the F-35.
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Bolding mine - the new bomber will proceed but will be classified. Plus the rest of the story

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/jsp_includes/articlePrint.jsp?headLine=Pentagon%20Request%20Makes%20Cuts,%20Cites%20New%20Investments&storyID=news/awx/2011/02/14/awx_02_14_2011_p0-289698.xml
 
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Ian33

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ooooohhh nice. Need a few more bombers for deep penetration as 20 B2's is an obscene small amount. Hope its like the X47b'esque drawings done here on the forum.
 

Steve Pace

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Best news I've heard in quite some time! But don't give the contract to NG or LM because they'll milk us for every dime we have. Moreover, by the time it flies, yours truly and even some of you younger gents will be underground, and, each air vehicle will cost more than a solid gold full scale replica of planet Earth. -SP
 

sferrin

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XB-70 Guy said:
Best news I've heard in quite some time! But don't give the contract to NG or LM because they'll milk us for every dime we have.

There's a 3rd choice?
 

Steve Pace

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sferrin said:
XB-70 Guy said:
Best news I've heard in quite some time! But don't give the contract to NG or LM because they'll milk us for every dime we have.

There's a 3rd choice?
I'm biased - I used to work for Boeing. -SP
 

bobbymike

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XB-70 Guy said:
Moreover, by the time it flies, yours truly and even some of you younger gents will be underground, and, each air vehicle will cost more than a solid gold full scale replica of planet Earth. -SP

The AF also asks for funds to keep Minuteman III until 2030 so most of us will be in the ground before we see a new ICBM developed and tested.
 

Steve Pace

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bobbymike said:
XB-70 Guy said:
Moreover, by the time it flies, yours truly and even some of you younger gents will be underground, and, each air vehicle will cost more than a solid gold full scale replica of planet Earth. -SP

The AF also asks for funds to keep Minuteman III until 2030 so most of us will be in the ground before we see a new ICBM developed and tested.
ICBMs, in my mind, are a thing of the past; or, they should be. Hell, nuclear warheads are so small now, they can be delivered via .22 cal pistol. Well almost. -SP
 

sferrin

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XB-70 Guy said:
ICBMs, in my mind, are a thing of the past; or, they should be. Hell, nuclear warheads are so small now, they can be delivered via .22 cal pistol. Well almost. -SP

I don't think ICBMs will be a thing of the past until high powered strategic defense lasers are available. The bang for the buck is just too sweet.
 

UpForce

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bobbymike said:
... Bolding mine - the new bomber will proceed but will be classified. Plus the rest of the story

There's quite a bit of reporting on these "classifieds" for FY 2012 budget (proposal), but even though it is sourced directly to the actual documentation one is perhaps well advised to take a circumspect view. Coördinated spending in the amount of billions is somewhat relative to its purposes at the best of times and in the realms of defense and "black projects" ... anyway AW's Ares blog ("Tales From The Crypt") puts USAF's yearly "unmentionables" alone at $33.1 Bn, most of which is nominally "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance" but could just as well be largely dual-purposed for R&D and procurement. (All of Pentagon's "I could tell you buts ..." add up to $57 Bn.) Meanwhile in non-military cloak'n'daggery, they're looking at a cool $55 Bn as well, according to Wired's "Danger Room" ("White House, Intel Chief Can’t Agree on Budget Secrecy"). So it's pretty much even steven between the spooks and the troops in the shadow wars, then.

Just to put this in a bomber-y perspective, Wikipedia (caveat lector), puts the projected cost of the B-2 program at $44.75 Bn through 2004 ... in 1997 USD, but I can't tell if this accounts for all cost all the way from 1979 onwards. Just like with the fuzziness of USAF's "ISR" category, it seems to me a fair assumption that some of the "B-2 resources" have been transferrable into other projects. Be that as it may, the figures are somewhat astounding in that the potential US "black" budget for one year seems - admittedly in very a seat-of-the-pants way - to dwarf that of the entire decades long, operational stealth bomber fleet to date. Perhaps there are people here who can provide other angles to this so we can get a better perspective on what kind of bang a buck really buys.

Like starting with the basics of how many aerospace engineering man hours, say, a billion dollars is?
 

SOC

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Pointless. Unless the service ceiling ends up equating to low Earth orbit, this is yet another huge waste of time and money.
 

Grey Havoc

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More than a bit of the money for "war operations" is going to be going on more items like this:

Meantime, one of the more important recent outlays of cash for the Afghan Army revolves around an initiative to build and equip a new, brigade-size “Mobile Strike Force” that can deploy its armored vehicles quickly around the country to meet threats as they occur. NTM-A has spent about $500 million on the unit, which will be outfitted with 352 Mobile Strike Force Vehicles, variants of Textron Marine & Land Systems’ M1117 Armored Security Vehicle. Textron received a $125.5 million order in June 2011. Textron has also supplied almost 200 of the trucks to the Iraqi Security Forces, and Brian Feser, vice president of strategy, says the company has an ongoing contract to provide maintenance support and logistics for the Iraqi government.

Aviation Week
 

Grey Havoc

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Something a bit off here:

But the whole idea is to shift the burden of the war onto the nascent Afghan forces. And with Afghan air power running behind Afghan ground forces, protecting Afghan forces under attack is going to be largely a ground responsibility. Terry praised “Afghan solutions” like the rise of a “mobile strike force, an armored wheeled-based platform” that seven Afghan battalions will use. As of now, it’s unarmed, so its purpose is to help Afghan troops survive an attack rather than repel one, but “potentially we’ll look at if we need to put a gun system on one of those platforms.”

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/01/afghanistan-artillery/
 

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