SASC Finshes Work on DOD Authorization Bill

SASC Finshes Work on DOD Authorization Bill

The Senate Armed Services Committee completed work on the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act today. The biggest cut to space programs is to the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System, but only because of a launch delay that means the launch vehicle does not have to be procured now.

From the committee’s press release, here are the space-related actions:

Requires the Secretary of Defense to review and assess the ability of national security Global Positioning Systems (GPS) receivers to receive GPS signals without interruption or interference, over the next 2 years.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Air Force to purchase as a block, two Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellites using a fixed price contract and with incremental funding.

Includes a provision that would authorize the Air Force to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with commercial space providers to improve the manner in which the space launch ranges are managed, including the ability to share costs.

Deletes $205.0 million from the Navy Mobile User Objective System satellite program for the purchase of the space launch vehicle for the 4th satellite as a result of the delay in the launch of the 4th satellite. The budget request was $282.2 million.

Reduces GPS IIF space segment by $40.0 million as a result of the Air Force decision to restructure the program by buying two satellites per year vice 3.

Added $15.0 million for Space-based Infrared satellite (SBIRS) ground stations and sensor exploitation.

Added $20.0 million for SBIRS to integrate the nuclear detonation sensors on the SBIRS satellites 5 and 6, consistent with existing statutory requirement to maintain the nuclear detonation detection capability in space.

Directed the Defense Information Systems Agency to look at a number of options, in addition to buying or leasing a single commercial satellite, when deciding to acquire commercial satellite communications capacity.

Added $6.0 million for space situational awareness (SSA) to analyze additional space sensors for use in the SSA system.

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