Report to Congress on U.S. Military Electronic Warfare Research and Development

April 16, 2019 2:33 PM

The following is the April 15, 2019 Congressional Research Service report, U.S. Military Electronic Warfare Research and Development: Recent Funding Projections.

From the report

The National Defense Strategy Commission identified Electronic Warfare (EW) as a critical capability to ensure the U.S. military remains competitive. In its FY2019 and FY2020 Defense Budget overview documents, the Department of Defense (DOD) identified EW as a priority to improve platform and network survivability; provide advanced jamming techniques to disrupt radars, communications, and command and control systems; and provide measures to defend the space domain and maintain power projection forces.

Even before the release of the Commission report, Congress showed an interest in EW programs. In 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense established the EW Executive Commission (EW EXCOM)—co-chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD R&E) and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—to identify emerging EW technologies. The FY2017 NDAA required the EW EXCOM to develop an EW Strategy; in its strategy, the EW EXCOM identified program elements and projects with EW facets in each of the services’ and Defense-wide Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriations. It did not identify procurement lines due to complexity and classification issues. Furthermore, some program elements the EXCOM identified might not fully provide EW capabilities, like Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Electronics Technology. Other program elements which support EW operations, however, such as the Navy’s E-2D Hawkeye, are not included in the EXCOM’s program list. The following analysis compares the FY2019 budget request for these programs with the FY2020 request.

DOD views both RDT&E and procurement as investment dollars; therefore, to get a complete picture for DOD investments in EW programs, analysis should include both. However, in order to provide a timely comparison between the two budget requests, this article provides a comparison of RDT&E funding only. The analysis that follows includes funding for the Army, Navy, Air Force, DARPA, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Operational Test and Evaluation (OTE), and Special Operations Command (SOCOM), using program elements identified by EXCOM in its strategy document, which are aggregated at the department/agency level.

Download the report here.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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