Wonky readers will, no doubt, be pouring over the President’s FY 2006 Defense Budget Request released on Monday.
The Summary Justification Materials (R1s, P1s, etc.) are available on Defenselink (left).
The Detailed Justication Materials (R2s) will be available in a few weeks. The Defense Department held briefings for reporters on 4 February, but neither MDA nor the Air Force provided handouts to take home.
Here is the kind of information we know, using the Ballistic Missile Defense Interceptors program element (PE).
The R1 indicates an $ 800 M cut in funding from what MDA planned to ask for 2006 in the last budget:
Ballistic Missile Defense System Interceptor (Thousand $)
|R1||PE NUMBER||ITEM||ACT||FY 2004||FY 2005||FY 2006||SEC|
That’s all the information available from the R1 (Summary Justification). If we want to know specifics, we have to wait for the R2 (Detailed Justification) that will become available in next few weeks. In the meantime, DOD is giving briefings. MDA, for example, provided additional information about the BMDS Interceptor program.
For example, the MDA briefer claims the $800 million cut has led MDA to reorient the BMDS Interceptor program element. Instead of focusing on boost-phase efforts, MDA will develop BMDS Interceptor to augment the ground-based midcourse system currently under development. Other changes are:
- MDA will delay selection of a third missile defense site, presumably in Europe, until FY 07.
- MDA has requested funding for NFIRE, but we do not know if the kill vehicle is again a payload.
- MDA will not ask for funding for the space-based test bed this year, but rather in future years.
We won’t know more until the R-2s come out.