Defense Business Brief: Budget details leak; Industry studies; Esper’s corporate job; And more...
The Biden administration is scheduled to send its detailed fiscal 2022 budget proposal to Congress next Friday, May 28, when it will become the latest budget submission by a administration in at least a century—possibly ever—and also serve as a massive buzzkill for all the government and military officials (and reporters) looking to get a jumpstart on the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Some details have leaked. The Air Force plans to cut planned purchases of the F-35 stealth fighter by 10 percent over the next five years; retire 421 planes of various types between 2022 and 2026; and buy 204 new ones, Air Force Magazine reports.
Meanwhile, the Navy plans to request eight new ships, four fewer than the Trump administration has planned, Bloomberg reports. Among the ships cut is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, which has riled up lawmakers in Maine, where some of the ships are made. But they shouldn't worry, writes Cowen & Company analyst Roman Schewizer. “We expect Congress to add back the DDG,” he wrote in a May 19 note to investors.
Around the think tanks
- The Hudson Institute has created a “Hamilton Commission” to “examine economic sectors critical to American national security and defense innovation,” according to a release. “The Commission will convene to propose policy recommendations that reduce U.S. dependence and advance American leadership in the following areas: lithium-ion batteries, semiconductors, and advanced composite materials.”
- The Center for Strategic and International Studies has a new white paper that “outlines elements of the ‘National Security Industry Base.’” Read it here.
Making moves: Mark Esper, the former U.S. defense secretary, has joined the board of Epirus, “a Silicon Valley-backed, high-growth technology company” whose tagline is "Revolutionizing Directed Energy."
From Defense One
Army SOF Units Are Getting Smaller, More Self-Reliant as Focus Shifts to China, Russia // Patrick Tucker
New adversaries, warfare concepts, and gear are also driving special operators to become more tech-savvy.
CIA's Last Classified Fax Machines Are About to Retire // Marcus Weisgerber
A secure email system dubbed Gray Magic will replace the legendary analog technology.
Space Force's First Battle Is With the US Army // Tara Copp
The newest force is relying on Army and Navy transfers to grow. But giving up missions is not in the military's DNA.
The F-35's Painful Lessons Must Inform Future Programs // Dan Grazier
Congress and the Pentagon must question dubious technical requirements, rosy buy-in costs, and optimistic schedule promises.
Will 2021 Be the Year JADC2 Takes Off? // Patrick Tucker
The U.S. military has big hopes for joint, all-domain command and control. But logistical and financial challenges are mounting.
The 'Rule of Thirds' Is Bunk // Seamus Daniels
The military services' shares of overall defense spending have always fluctuated with strategy and need.
Why the U.S. Needs a Space Czar // Julia Ciocca , Lauren Kahn and Christian Ruhl
Bureaucracy must keep up with the new space age.
With Half Its Troops Unvaccinated, Pentagon Aims to Persuade Skeptics // Elizabeth Howe
Instead of a "personal health choice," leaders now call shots a "critical part" of fighting the pandemic.