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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 05:24 AM
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Army Budget Share Will Grow

Army Budget Share Will Grow
By Greg Grant Friday, April 9th, 2010 10:46 am
Posted in Air, Cyber Security, International, Land, Naval, Policy, Space

Defense budgets are not declining and will remain stable through 2015. Defense spending will remain at about 21 percent of total federal outlays, or around 4.7 percent of GDP, according to an analysis of the 2011 defense budget by business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

However, in a big change to business as usual, the defense budget will no longer be evenly divided between the three services as it has for around the past forty years. The ground forces will be the big winners in future years; the Armys slice of the budget pie will grow as mountains of equipment in need of repair and upgrades return from Iraq. Cuts will be made in Air Force, Navy and space platforms to fund Army growth; both services will see slight declines in annual budgets while the Armys will grow 11 percent through 2015.

In DODs funding forecasts, future costs to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are vastly understated as are personnel and healthcare costs. Reset costs for Army and Marine equipment returning from Iraq are also vastly understated, as all are new aircraft programs, e.g. F-35, tanker. The shipbuilding plan is also underfunded. Cost overruns in the F-35 and satellites continue due to immature technologies, the analysis says, and risks shifts to existing platforms.

The biggest future growth areas will be in networked communications and overhead surveillance, followed by repair, maintenance and training. The future requirements process will be driven more by combatant commanders than service bureaucracy, more joint and fewer overall contracts and programs. There will be further monopolization of large platform primes, e.g. one tank builder, one aircraft tanker builder and one shipbuilder.

Research and development funding will decline as will programs based on immature technologies and exquisite capabilities. Program growth areas include: low-cost precision strike; area-denial countermeasures; counterinsurgency (including Mexican COIN support); anti-pirate, narcotics and counterterror. The trend toward commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) buying with accelerate across the board.

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