The Insider

The INSIDER daily digest -- Feb. 13, 2018

By John Liang  
February 13, 2018 at 2:30 PM

The FY-19 defense budget continues to dominate this Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Inside Defense compares the Pentagon's base budget forecast with the White House Office of Management and Budget's numbers:

New Pentagon budget backed by planned increases of more than $1 trillion over the decade

The Trump administration is backing the new National Defense Strategy with a 10-year, $7.2 trillion spending forecast -- a boost of more than $1 trillion compared to the most recent Obama plan -- including a near-term drive to propel the Pentagon's annual budget above $700 billion beginning in FY-20, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

Overseas Contingency Operations will be phased out over the next two years:

Pentagon sparks OCO whiplash as it seesaws from $89B request to planned phase-out

Before Congress finalized a two-year spending deal, the Defense Department planned to finance a multibillion-dollar budget buildup through its controversial Overseas Contingency Operations account. Now, it is reversing course and projects it will begin phasing out OCO in FY-20.

The Air Force wants to make sure it properly manages its Joint Strike Fighter production pipeline:

Air Force says request for 48 F-35s supports 'manageable ramp' in production

Air Force officials say the service is still targeting an annual F-35 production rate of 60 aircraft, but in the near term, the focus is on maintaining a "manageable ramp" in order to avoid undue strain on its production and logistics infrastructure.

The missile defense budget stands to get a hefty bump in FY-19:

MDA seeks $9.9 billion in FY-19, boost of more than 20 percent above prior forecast

The Missile Defense Agency is seeking $9.9 billion in fiscal year 2019 -- an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the Trump administration's earlier plans -- signaling concern by policymakers about the growing threat and increasing complexity of long-range missiles from adversaries such as North Korea and a potential new class of ultra-fast, maneuvering weapons from China and Russia.

Related missile defense news:

Despite test failure, MDA moves forward with SM-3 Block IIA plans

The Missile Defense Agency is moving forward with plans to purchase more Standard Missile 3 Block IIA guided interceptors in fiscal year 2019 and deploy the weapon by the end of this calendar year, despite the system failing to intercept a ballistic missile target during a recent flight test.

Navy asks Congress for OK to lock in $2 billion, five-year deal for Raytheon SM-6 interceptors

The Navy is seeking permission from Congress to negotiate a $2 billion, five-year contract to buy Standard Missile-6 interceptors, a deal the service says would avoid $331 million compared to annual purchases. This would be one of two multiyear procurement deals the Pentagon is seeking with Raytheon for Standard Missiles in fiscal year 2019.

The Army wants more money to improve combat vehicle programs:

Army seeks to significantly boost vehicle upgrades in FY-19 budget

The Army's fiscal year 2019 budget request would bring a surge in funding for improvements to the Abrams, Bradley and Stryker programs, part of the service's move to modernize its brigade combat teams.

Don't expect another round of base realignments and closures anytime soon:

Pentagon abandons BRAC, seeks to trim $6B elsewhere

The Pentagon, which will no longer lobby Congress for another round of base realignments and closures, intends to find $6 billion in efficiencies in fiscal year 2019 by establishing a new management task force composed of senior officials and executing a variety of unnamed initiatives.

A look at the Navy's shipbuilding plans:

Navy plan to reach 355-ship fleet would take more than 30 years

The Navy aims to build a 355-ship fleet by the 2050s, according to the new 30-year shipbuilding plan sent to Congress Monday.

Document: Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan for FY-19

As Inside Defense reported last week, the Air Force will not fund the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization in the Defense Department's fiscal year 2019 request, a stark change of course from its original plan:

Air Force points to MQ-9, future sensor investments to replace JSTARS recapitalization

The Air Force is pursuing new battle management and command-and-control efforts after abandoning the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization program in its fiscal year 2019 budget request.