Issue Date: February 28, 2011
Defense: Science And Technology Funding Is Down
As the recipient of the biggest fraction of the government’s R&D budget, the Department of Defense expects to spend $75.7 billion on research, development, testing, and evaluation in fiscal 2012. Most of that spending, however, goes toward the testing and evaluation components of the budget, which means the building and testing of major weapons systems for national defense. Overall, the Defense R&D request is down 6.4%, or $5.2 billion, from the expected funding for 2011.
Unlike most federal departments this year, which are operating under the continuing resolution that sets their budgets at the same level as fiscal 2010, DOD gets additional funds from what are called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) requests. So DOD’s 2011 budget is actually a little higher than the 2010 appropriation.
Science and technology funding at DOD has three components. For basic research, the President’s 2012 request is down about $45 million, or about 2.1%, from 2011 to just under $2.1 billion. Applied research funding is up, growing by $10 million, or 0.2%, to $4.7 billion in 2012. And for the category of advanced technology development, the request for 2012 is $5.5 billion, a small decrease of $58 million, or 1.0% less than 2011. Even though these projects are falling out of favor, Congress is likely to enhance these budget numbers with a few of its own earmarks, as it has done in the past.
Other highlights of DOD’s R&D budget request include essentially flat funding of $3.0 billion for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which supports long-term, high-reward research projects. And the DOD chemical and biological defense program is requesting $1.3 billion for 2012, the same level as expected for 2011.
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