Defense Business Brief: Biden budget preview next week; UK boosting spending; Tough choices; and more
The Biden administration is expected to preview its fiscal 2022 budget proposal next week where we should see some overarching spending themes. This is in advance of the White House sending its formal budget proposal to Congress, which is expected in early May. The Pentagon’s share of that budget is expected to come in at between $704 and $708 billion — roughly the same allotment approved by Congress this year.
How does America’s closest ally feel about that? “Don't beat yourselves up. Flat on a heck of a lot is still a heck of a lot. We would love to have that problem,” James Heappey, the British armed forces minister, said on a Monday conference call.
The U.K. is pledging to spend more than £85 billion ($117.3 billion) on new weapons over the next four years, according to a new strategic outlook presented to Parliament. Overall, the U.K. plans to spend £188 billion on defense over that four-year period, an increase of £24 billion, or 14 percent, from prior plans.
Read more about the U.K. budget plan and the winning and losing programs here.
Back at the across the pond, the American Enterprise Institute’s Mackenzie Eaglen in a new report attracting attention explores the implications of a flat defense budget on the Pentagon’s desire to modernize aging weapons and equipment. “Unfortunately, as this report demonstrates, there is no easy way out of this fiscal bind for the US military,” she writes. “Rather, now is the time for effective mitigation strategies, urgent worst-case scenario planning, hard choices, and political leadership.”
Weekend reading. The U.S. government has spent nearly $15 billion since 2015 on the development of hypersonic weapons, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.
Making moves. Retired Gen. Dave Goldfein, former Air Force chief of staff, has been named a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Jennifer Santos, a former Pentagon industrial policy chief, has joined Draper as the company’s principal director for strategic initiatives in its National Security and Space business.
From Defense One
UK Confirms Plans to Add F-35s, But Won't Commit to Original Goal // Marcus Weisgerber
Officials have promised to buy 48, are thinking about buying more, but wouldn't say whether the 138-plane vision will ever be realized.
Pentagon Picks Lockheed, Northrop-Raytheon Team to Develop Missile Interceptors // Marcus Weisgerber
Officials reject a bid by Boeing, which builds the current generation of missile interceptors.
Senators Offer to Let NSA Hunt Cyber Actors Inside the US // Patrick Tucker
After SolarWinds hack, Gen. Nakasone seeks some sort of a fix for the cybersecurity 'blind spot' against Russia, China, but others cite privacy concerns in potential expanded authorities.
The advanced research office is preparing a solicitation for novel research into In Pixel Intelligent Processing as the next breakthrough in artificial intelligence.
Drones Could One Day Make Up 40% of a Carrier Air Wing, Navy Says // Patrick Tucker
The Department's new unmanned plan directs focus not just on drones but on their "enabling technologies."
One Year into the Pandemic, DoD Data Remains Incomplete // Elizabeth Howe
Outstanding questions include: why are civilians dying at higher rates than troops?
In Syria, US Commanders Hold the Line — and Wait for Biden // Katie Bo Williams
Troops maintain the status quo amid a counterterrorism success-turned-frozen war.
Biden Should Shoot This Acquisition Down // Hank Naughton
Lockheed's purchase of Aerojet Rocketdyne would strike a blow to competition and innovation.