The budget request for the fiscal year 24 (PB24) of the United States has changed significantly with respect to the projections of the spending plan of last year (PB23) for several reasons. Some programs have increased in scope, others have been reduced, and some have experienced delays, meaning funding will materialize in future budget requests.
Here is a quick review of the budget items that have won and lost the most funds between the PB23 and PB24 forecasts.
Significant gains and losses in RDT&E
—Next Generation Air Domain (NGAD)
This element of the Air Force’s future air superiority fighter program received a $392.2 million boost in FY24 by absorbing Collaborative Fighter Jet funding that was previously in a different funding stream. Funding for risk reduction efforts was also increased.
The FY24 request included a $662.1 million increase for the development of the Air Force’s B-21 bomber, but funding for the acquisition was $1.2 billion less than anticipated.
— Missile Alert Missile Tracking – Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
LEO supports the Space Development Agency’s Tracking Layer missile defense satellite program. The increased funding in FY24 will support the development, delivery, and testing of the Tranche 1 satellite and Tranche 2 activities.
— Continued development and delivery of F-35 capabilities (C2D2)
This investment increases in FY24 to support Block 4 upgrade planning, testing, and evaluation efforts.
— Lower Level Anti-Aircraft and Missile Defense Sensors (LTAMDS)
This new radar, designed for the Patriot missile defense system, has experienced delays in its development. Since the anticipated change to acquisition has not occurred, there has been an increase in development funding and a reduction in the acquisition account. The transition to acquisition is now expected to take place in fiscal year 25.
Maneuver and Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD)
This is a multi-phase effort to equip Stryker vehicles with a variety of weapons. The first increment includes Stinger and Hellfire missiles, while the second incorporates directed energy weapons. The third increment will incorporate a next-generation replacement for the Stinger missile. The suppressed funding for this program was redistributed between the Anti-Aircraft and Missile Defense portfolios.
— Optionally Manned Combat Vehicle (OMFV)
It is being developed to replace a portion of the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle fleet. According to budget documents, funding was reduced to support higher Army priorities.
— Medium Range Strategic Capability
The Army’s Strategic Medium-Range Capability will initially use ground-launched SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles. A portion of the development funds originally planned for FY24 was reallocated to the procurement account to purchase Tomahawk missiles.
— Conventional Rapid Attack Hypersonic (CPS) Weapon
The Navy experienced a nearly $400 million reduction in development funding for the Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic weapon because funds were being diverted to support the acquisition and integration of the weapon on Zumwalt-class destroyers and Virginia-class submarines.
— TACAMO modernization
The Navy’s E-6 replacement project, known as the TACAMO (take charge and move out) modernization, suffered a cut in development funding because an engineering and manufacturing development contract was moved to fiscal year 25.
Significant gains and losses on acquisitions
The Navy is going to buy two Virginia-class submarines with different configurations. One of the submarines is a modified Virginia-class seabed and submarine warfare configuration (Mod VA SSW). The other submarine is the first to incorporate the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), which will increase missile-carrying capacity.
Last year’s budget plan cut back on F-35A procurement for the Air Force, and the service originally said it would only seek funding for 29 aircraft in FY24. However, the request for FY24 has brought the procurement profile back to 48 aircraft per year and thereafter.
— Air Force missile programs
The Air Force has increased the pace of acquisitions of several missile programs, reflecting the service’s desire to invest in weapons that would be vital in a close conflict. The planned acquisition of Joint Air-to-Surface Missiles (JASSMs) increased from 512 to 550 in the FY24 request. At the same time, the Air Force wants 457 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) in fiscal year 24, compared to the 178 expected.
—Navy missile programs
The Navy plans to buy 91 long-range anti-ship missiles, 30 more than planned. The purchase for FY24 includes 81 AGM-158C missiles and 10 AGM-158C-3 extended-range missiles.
The Air Force was scheduled to purchase its first 14 T-7A trainers in FY24, but the procurement has been pushed back to FY25 due to a delay in the initial production of the low-performance Milestone C.
—TAO 205-class fleet tankers
The FY24 solicitation changed the procurement schedule for TAO 205-class fleet tankers. The service initially planned to purchase two vessels in FY24, followed by one per year thereafter. However, the latest application only includes one vessel in FY24 and none in FY25. As of fiscal year 26, the acquisition of two vessels will alternate with that of one per year. The program has experienced delays due to infrastructure, supply chain and labor issues stemming from the pandemic.
— GPS III tracking satellite
Congress added an additional GPS III Follow-On satellite in FY 22, allowing production to be expanded through FY 23 and FY 24. FY 26 will see a satellite acquisition shortfall. There will be a procurement backlog in FY24 to ensure that the GPS IIIF procurement is completed in FY30 as originally planned.