The Air & Space Brief: New stockpile assumptions; Precision guided munitions pressures; EU names Russia in Viasat attack
Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:
Stockpile assumptions: The U.S. military wants to update its stockpiles with newer weapons to replace some of the missiles and rockets it gave to Ukraine, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official said Friday. The Pentagon is also reviewing the assumptions it previously made about the ideal size of its current stockpile, because of the pressure the U.S. now finds itself under to maintain necessary levels of defense equipment.
PGM pressures: The services are making their final programming decisions, such as which weapons to terminate, which force structure to cut, and what levels of readiness to maintain, AEI’s John Ferrari writes for Defense One. Based on lessons learned from the war in Ukraine, there are four key lessons that could upend the current strategy behind the building of the defense budget. Notably, any future conflict “will entail significant demand for long-range, high-precision munitions. Large quantities of shorter-range high-precision munitions will be needed, as well,” Ferrari writes, citing the National Defense Strategy Commission. Russia’s feeling it too, now, and is running out of inventory, a senior defense official told Pentagon reporters Monday.
Russia to blame: The widespread cyber attack on Viasat just before Russia invaded Ukraine has officially been attributed to Russia by the European Union, the organization said in a statement Tuesday. “The cyberattack took place one hour before Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, 2022, thus facilitating the military aggression. This cyberattack had a significant impact causing indiscriminate communication outages and disruptions across several public authorities, businesses and users in Ukraine, as well as affecting several EU member states,” the EU said.
More money on the horizon: The Biden administration is willing to increase the president’s defense spending request sent to Congress just six weeks ago to mitigate inflation’s impacts on the military, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said Friday at a Reagan Institute event. “We want to work with Congress on the ‘23 budget to make sure we have the purchasing power for this program,” Hicks said.
Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. On May 3, 1946, the U.S. successfully launched a V-2 rocket from the many partially completed rockets it had captured from the Germans during World War II. The captured components were integral to the United States’ development of its own ballistic missile capabilities.
From Defense One
Pentagon Seeks to Update U.S. Weapons Stocks Depleted by Ukraine Donations // Marcus Weisgerber and Tara Copp
Defense Department's top acquisitions exec says Ukraine war is changing the way the U.S. thinks about stockpiles.
Four Lessons that Should Upend the Pentagon's Five-Year Strategy // John Ferrari
From the quick consumption of weapons in Ukraine to rising inflation, the current resourcing plan is untenable.
Biden Already Willing to Increase Recent Defense Spending Request // Jacqueline Feldscher
Just six weeks after requesting $773 billion for 2023, the Pentagon's No. 2 acknowledges the military may need more money, due to inflation.