The proposal contains funding increases for the U.S. Army's troubled Future Combat System, including $3.7 billion in fiscal 2007 and $22.4 billion over the next five years.

George Leopold, Contributor

February 6, 2006

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration's proposed 7-percent increase in military spending for fiscal 2007 invests in a range of advanced technologies for combat, communications and homeland defense.

The record $493.7 billion request unveiled Monday (Feb. 6) contains funding increases for the U.S. Army's Future Combat System, including $3.7 billion in fiscal 2007 and $22.4 billion through over the next five years. The troubled program is the Army's highest priority as it seeks to link soldiers to sensors and weapons via an advanced network.

The investment includes unmanned air and ground vehicles along with battlefield command and communications systems. Budget officials said $11.6 billion will be allocated over the next five years to procure as many as 311 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to improve intelligence gathering.

Another $10.4 billion is being sought next year for ground- and sea-based interceptors for missile defense. DoD's budget request also includes funds for two mobile missile-defense radars and $4 billion for space-based early warning systems.

The military will seek to boost its global communications capabilities through a five-year, $9.3-billion request to deploy the "Transformational Satellite" program. The high-bandwidth system is advertised as delivering eight times the speed and data capacity currently available for military communications.

Pentagon R&D spending would increase by just over $2 billion in the fiscal 2007 budget request. Both Army and Navy RDT&E (research, development, test and evaluation) funding would decline next year, but Air Force spending is slated to increase by nearly $3 billion to $24.3 billion. Defense agencies such as the Darpa would see a boost of about $1.2 billion in the fiscal 2007 request.

Closely watch DoD basic research funding would decline in the 2007 budget request to $1.42 billion as the services invest more in advanced development, prototyping and systems development.

"We have gone more towards speed and away from mass," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday. "We've gone towards agility and we've gone towards precision."

The record budget request does not include funds for combat operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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