DoD Delays Weapons Buys

The Clinton Administration's fiscal 1998 Defense budget request of $259.4 billion increases funding for operations and maintenance but delays a long-planned boost in spending on weapons modernization.

The Administration also is requesting $2 billion in supplemental funding for 1997 to pay for unplanned contingency operations in Bosnia and Iraq. The supplemental appropriation would be offset by rescinding $4.8 billion in previously appropriated 1997 funds.

Striking the right balance between operations and maintenance accounts, which fund military readiness, and long-term weapons modernization programs, is an ongoing problem for the Pentagon. In recent years, Defense officials have been forced to move funds from procurement accounts into operations and maintenance to pay for unplanned contingencies and maintain readiness.

In keeping with priorities established by former Secretary of Defense William Perry, the 1998 budget continues to place a high priority on readiness and quality of life programs for military personnel and their families. But while DoD is requesting less for modernization in 1998 than it had previously planned, the long-term goal remains to achieve $60 billion in procurement funding by 2001.

"Over the longer term, the administration's new plan may reflect a somewhat brighter picture for modernization," according to an analysis by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a non-profit think tank in Washington. The administration's Future Years Defense Program (1998-2003) as implemented by the 1998 budget proposal would contain $4 billion more for procurement than previously planned. The new plan also provides $7 billion more for research and development.

Major weapons projects funded in the 1998 proposal include the Navy's F/A-18 E/F aircraft and the New Attack Submarine, the Air Force's C-17 transport aircraft, and the Army's Longbow Apache helicopter. Research, development and testing also will continue on the Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy's arsenal ship, the Army's Comanche helicopter and the Air Force's F-22 fighter.

In addition, the 1998 budget requests $3.5 billion for the Ballistic Missile Defense program, with an additional $17.9 billion planned through 2003.

"Whether or not the rate of modernization envisioned in the administration's current plan is necessary or appropriate, both in terms of its rate and the relative priority accorded to new systems, is, of course, another question," CSBA noted.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.