House Approps Markup Will Bring Mostly Bad News for DOD Space Programs, Blast EASE

House Approps Markup Will Bring Mostly Bad News for DOD Space Programs, Blast EASE

The House Appropriations Committee will mark up the FY2012 defense appropriations bill tomorrow (Tuesday, June 14) at 10:00 am. If it adopts the recommendations of its defense subcommittee, it will be a mix of good and not so good news — mostly the latter — for the department’s space programs.

The subcommittee’s recommendations are contained in a draft of the committee’s report that is already published on the committee’s website along with a copy of the draft bill. (The report is not labeled “draft,” but full committee markup is not until tomorrow and committee staff confirm that it is the working document that the full committee will use at its meeting. Amendments are possible.)

Examples of the programs recommended for cuts by the subcommittee are the following:

  • $225 million for the Defense Weather Satellite System (still entitled NPOESS in the table), $220 million below the President’s request
  • $351 million for development of the GPS III operational control segment, $48 million less than the request
  • $413 million for the GPS III space segment, $50 million below the request
  • $1.6 billion for procurement of four EELVs, $174 million below the request
  • $355 million for Advanced EHF milsatcom, $67 million below the request
  • $29.5 million for Operationally Responsive Space, $57 million below the request
  • $221 million for Space Situation Awareness Systems, $53 million below the request (-$40 million from Space Fence and -$12 million from SBSS)
  • $79 million for JSPOC mission system, $40 million below the request
  • $71 million for space technology, $44.5 million below the request
  • $39 million for advanced spacecraft technology, $35 million below the request
  • $34 million for Rocket Systems Launch Program, $124.5 million below the request

At least two programs, conversely, would get increases.

  • $803.7 million for procurement of two Wideband Global System satellite, $335 million above the request
  • $107.7 million for GPS IIF production readiness, $40 million above the request

Many others, like the Space-Based Infrared Satellite (SBIRS) system, would be funded at the same level as requested, in that case $622 million. After many, many years of schedule delays and cost growth, the first geostationary SBIRS satellite was finally launched last month.

In a lengthy section beginning on p. 185, the subcommittee sharply criticized DOD’s proposed Evolutionary Acquisition for Space Efficiency (EASE) acquisition approach to satellite systems. EASE assumes the availability of advance appropriations instead of the year-by-year appropriations that are typically provided. The subcommittee said it was “disappointed” that DOD developed EASE without input from Congress and found it “alarming” that DOD based its entire budget request for space programs on Congress accepting EASE. “The Committee does not approve the acquisition plan using the advance appropriations concept,” the subcommittee report states.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.