Bill Shrinks Pentagon’s R&D Budget by $7 Billion

Bill Shrinks Pentagon’s R&D Budget by $7 Billion

A spending bill proposed Monday by Congress would reduce the Defense Department’s Research and Development budget by about $7 billion when compared to 2013.

Lawmakers announced a full 2014 Pentagon appropriations on Monday that would supply $63 billion to military R&D programs. The military received about $70 billion last year and requested $67.5 billion for 2014.

This was part of the hit the military’s procurement budget also took as part of the 2014 defense appropriations bill, which went down by $8 billion over the 2013 budget. Congress provided about $92 billion in procurement funds in 2014 to the military.

The bill offered general guidelines to the services in the manner in which they could use their 2014 funding. The bill specified the Army use $4.8 billion on aircraft, $1.5 billion for missiles and $1.6 billion for ground vehicles. The Navy will receive $16 billion for new aircraft and $15 billion for ships.

The Air Force received a smaller aircraft procurement budget than the Navy as it received $10.3 billion for aircraft in 2014. The Marine Corps received $1.2 billion total for its procurement projects.

The Navy did receive a few guidelines on shipbuilding programs. For example, the bill specified that the Navy spend $6 billion on the Virginia-class submarine program, $1.8 billion on the Littoral Combat Ship program, and $2 billion for the destroyer program.

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Good sensible news from the Pentagon. We need more manned planes newer subs than drones. Drones are driven by too much hype and are not as needed as new planes and subs are.

The Pentagon requested $67.5 billion in FY 2014 for R&D and got $63 billion, a 6.7% cut. When compared to the $70 billion in FY 2013, it looks like a 10% cut. The request for less funding can be the compliation of a number of factors. Some R&D programs have completed or are tapering off. Others are just starting up. Plus, the new request doesn’t include all the Congressional adds (no longer called “pork” but lots of it still there).

The procurement budgets also went down by $6.2 billion from the request, not the full $8 billion reported. Plus, aboyt $900 million of that “cut” drifted into the war budget, where it’s granted a pass from normal budgeting rules.

Instead of sensationalizing the year-to-year comparisons, reporters need to better explain year-to-year changes versus within-year changes. Plus, some of the cuts result from a better review of overly optimist assumptions which have not occurred since the budget was submitted. Otherwise the public gets the perception the Pentagon needs the same amount as the prior year.

So much for all of that progress on rail guns and such…

Yeah, rail guns are so f’ing complicated. We have particle accelerators that can shoot a blob of protons at .999 times the speed of light, but we need 50 more years of research to launch a metal projectile at Mach 10 (0.00001043815451822 times the speed of light).

Really? I have a device on my desk that can shoot a huge number of photons at 100% of the speed of light. it’s called a lamp. But like your blob of protons, my desk lamp is not an effective weapon.

Forgot to mention that the “simple” particle accelerator is the size of Rhode Island and takes twice as much power. Like to see you fit that in a DD.
Railguns are relatively simple and understood tech, the problem with getting them to the application stage is the power generation/storage/release. Two magnets propelling an object is used everyday…

People like you are lucky. You’re stupid enough to need to have your money taken from you, and those defense contractors are there for you.

Sometimes cuts in budgets are necessary. Becoming leaner forces an organization to be more efficient. BUT one of the effects when cutting the budget of the military, is the negative trickle down effect. Businesses that depend upon doing business with the military have to tighten their belts too — and that means shedding jobs. Thus we are brought back to my original statement — the companies losing business due to military cuts will have to become more efficient to survive. A difficult cycle indeed.

The main problem with DoD R & D budget is their own outdated research labs. They are very very expensive and costs almost twice — thrice to get the same amount of work done. And on top of that, there is no accountability with the federal employees at these labs. Most of them are outdated and can’t do Tech transfer very well. I know, I have worked in those labs for few years and could see the waste. NRL, ARL have very high over head and senior scientists aren’t competent enough to bring in new funding or ideas. There is no planning and goals for the future but re-doing the same research that has been done years ago. Time to make these federal labs more efficient by bringing in RIFs and performance based system.


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