Air Force Requests $9.6 Billion for Space in FY2013; EASE Becomes ESP
The Air Force budget request for FY2013 includes $9.6 billion in funding for space programs according to Air Force testimony to Congress today.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Norman Schwartz presented a joint statement to the House Armed Services Committee. They provided few details about how the money will be spent, but said:
"With the $9.6 billion in funds for space programs in the FY13 budget request, the Air Force is recapitalizing many space capabilities, fielding new satellite communications systems, replacing legacy early missile warning systems, improving space control capabilities, and upgrading position, navigation and timing capabilities with the launch of Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites and the acquisition of GPS III satellites. Consistent with the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Department of Defense Appropriations Act, the Air Force is canceling the Defense Weather Satellite System, saving $518.8 million in FY13 and $2.38 billion over the FYDP. The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) will continue to fulfill this critical requirement as the Air Force determines the most prudent way forward."
The testimony also stressed the need to improve procurement of space systems. Last year, the Air Force proposed an Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency (EASE) procurement approach, which envisioned multi-year appropriations from Congress. Congress was not supportive of the notion, but this year the concept is back -- renamed Efficient Space Procurement (ESP). It also calls for advance appropriations.
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