By: Richard Jones, American Institute of Physics
Defense Secretary Bill Cohen started his briefing this week with the words, "The central aim of the fiscal 2000 budget is to preserve America's military strength." The budget request calls for a $12.6 billion increase in defense spending over previously planned levels, part of a $112 billion increase in DoD resources from FY 2000 to FY 2005. This would be the first sustained increase since the end of the Cold War. The total DoD request is $267.2 billion.
Few FY 2000 Basic and Applied Research accounts would increase, and many would fall:
The total research, development, test, and evaluation (RTD&E) budget, including the services, is down 8.2%, or $3,067.8 million, to $34,375.2 million.
Basic research (6.1), across DoD, including the services, is up 0.5%, or $5.2 million, to $1,113.2 million.
Applied research (6.2), across DoD, including the services, is down 6.1%, or $191.7 million, to $2,959.0 million.
Combined 6.1 and 6.2, across DoD, including the services, is down 4.4%, or $186.5 million, to $4,072.2 million.
Army Basic Research is up 1.7%, or $3.1 million, to $186.9 million. Army Applied Research is down 11.6%, or $72.8 million, to $555.3 million.
Navy Basic Research is up 4.2%, or $15.2 million, to $376.8 million. Navy Applied Research is down 7.6%, or $42.9 million, to $523.8 million.
Air Force Basic Research is down 0.1%, or $226,000, to $209.5 million. Air Force Applied Research is down 14.3%, or $84.6 million, to $507.6 million.
Defense-wide Basic Research is down 3.7%, or $12.96 million, to $340.0 million. Defense-wide Applied Research is up 0.6%, or $8.7 million, to $1,372.3 million.
In a background briefing late last week, a senior Department of Defense official described DoD's four priorities for FY 2000: people, readiness, modernization, and facilities. At the end of the hour-long session he was asked how DoD would support revolutionized technology for the military of the future with this RDT&E budget.
His answer was insightful about the Administration's approach to RDT&E spending this year: "The R&D account is cyclical. It tends to go up as you're developing a set of weapons, then it slides back down as you move those weapons from development into production. What you're seeing is the move of weapons from development into production. So the R&D budget on the F-22 is going down, but the procurement budget on the F- 22 is going up. V-22, the same way. As you move systems, some of the money moves from development to production. If you look over time, you'll see there's a normal cycle that's happening and that's all you're seeing here. It's not any change or any less of a commitment in terms of the revolution. Indeed, it is implementing the revolution in military affairs by getting those systems out into the field."