Space Force Asks for Substantial Increase in FY2023 — $24.5 Billion

Space Force Asks for Substantial Increase in FY2023 — $24.5 Billion

President Biden is requesting $24.5 billion for the U.S. Space Force in FY2023, a substantial increase over the $18 billion Congress appropriated for FY2022. Part of the increase is due to transfers from other parts of the DOD budget, but funding for research and development in particular gets a boost.

In total, the Department of the Air Force is requesting $234 billion for FY2023 as part of the $773 billion request for DOD. The Department oversees two military services, the Air Force and the Space Force. The Space Force became a separate military service in 2019.

For FY2022, President Biden requested $17.4 billion for the Space Force and Congress appropriated a bit more, $18.055 billion. That did not include money for personnel, which has been bookkept in the Air Force’s budget until now. The two services are gradually separating their budget accounts.

Air Force Under Secretary Gina Ortiz Jones presenting the FY2023 Department of the Air Force budget request, March 28, 2022. Screengrab.

In FY2023, the Space Force now includes personnel in its budget request with $1 billion transferred from the Air Force. The Space Development Agency (SDA), part of the office of the DOD Under Secretary for Research and Engineering, also is transferring into the Space Force pursuant to the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

During a budget briefing this afternoon, Air Force Under Secretary Gina Ortiz Jones said the FY2023 request reflects the Department’s operational imperatives, first of which is to define a resilient, effective space order of battle and architectures.

She said the request reflects efforts to move to a resilient missile warning and tracking system and the Space Force’s “pivot to a series of resilient, survivable and defendable architectures” to address hypersonic missiles and anti-satellite weapons. She added this framework allows access “to a more diverse base of satellite vendors and launch providers who are also pivoting to proliferated constellations for commercial applications.” The Department is also investing in Space Domain Awareness including the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability or DARC, an all-weather radar capability to “counter existing and emerging threats in deep space and support tactical timelines defined for strategic space defense.”

The Department is also “collaborating with industry on national security space launch, to drive innovation and increase launch capacity to maintain robust and assured access to space.”

Still, the Space Force is a small part of the Department’s budget, $24.5 billion versus $169.5 bllion for the Air Force.

The breakdown of the Space Force’s FY2023 request is shown in this Air Force chart.

The comparisons are to the “FY 22 PB,” the FY2022 President’s Budget, meaning the request for FY2022 not what Congress appropriated. The tables were prepared before Congress finalized the FY2022 appropriations two weeks ago. created this quick-look table of the FY2022 budget request, FY2022 appropriations, and FY2023 request for the Space Force.


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