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Sunday, March 16, 2014

News March 2014

Department of Defense FY 2015 budget in a nutshell

Image Credit: Jack Ohman

The Department of Defense's fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget is among the most complex budget proposals submitted within recent years. The Pentagon's base FY 2015 budget of $495.6 billion dollars is supplemented with the $79 billion dollar oversea's contingency operations (OCO) budget and possibly an additional $26 billion from the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative (OGSI). Despite the steady progress of troop reductions in Afghanistan, the OCO budget remains largely unaltered from the FY 2014 budget. The DOD is essentially using the OCO budget as a means to mitigate some of the effects of sequestration. The funding from OGSI is unlikely to materialize as support from Congress is minimal.

To sum the "theme" of the YF2015 budget in a single sentence, the DOD is making significant cuts to its short term capabilities in order to preserve and develop future programs. Its easy to criticize the YF 2015 budget given the significant cuts to legacy platforms such as the U-2, A-10, KC-10, temporarily mothballing 11 missile cruisers, substantial troop reductions, and possibly retiring the USS George Washington. Without tangible action from Congress to either end sequestration or to grant the DOD greater discretion to with regards to implementing the mandated cuts, the FY 2015 budget proposal is approximately the best one could expect from the DOD given the circumstances. Many defense analysts have claimed that the Pivot is no longer viable given the cuts in the YF 2015 budget. In reality, the process of re-balancing the Pacific is likely to require several decades of active US engagement. The new R&D investments in DARPA, cyber warfare, adaptive engine technology, UCLASS, AMDR, and the long-range strike bomber prepare the US for a Pacific oriented defense posture. As a result of prioritization of R&D, the post 2020 US military will be able to counter a wide range of expected national security threats for decades to come.

Recommended Budget Related Articles:

In R&D Budget, Pentagon Focuses on Risk - by Zachary Fryer-Biggs
US Navy Budget Plan: Major Questions Abound - by Christopher Cavas
US Budget Request Focuses on Leaner, High-Tech Future - by Marcus Weisgerber and Zachary Fryer-Biggs
Carriers, Cruisers, & LCS: CNO Speaks - by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr
Pentagon proposes buying fewer fighters, unmanned aircraft in FY2015 budget - by Jon Hemmerdinger
Pentagon seeks to invest billions in next-generation programmes - by Jon Hemmerdinger
US Navy Budget Takes Bite Out of Aircraft, Weapons - by Christopher Cavas

J-20 Upgrades

The third J-20 prototype designated "2011" has been making major headlines in aerospace publications for the last two weeks. I am in the process of writing a new article detailing the features of the 2011 aircraft in addition to updated background information. The article, threat analysis of foreign stealth fighters part I: Chengdu J-20, needs comprehensive revisions to keep the article relevant. Thus, it is more feasible to write an entirely new article. 


  1. Did you mean FY2015 budget that was just released?

  2. Hay Matt,

    Like the pic, had a good laugh.

    To the budget Issue in the USA, If you have time have a look at this Vid

    1. Thanks Stone, I don't know as much about space based systems as I'd like. I was aware some US rockets used Russian engines but I didn't know about their use in Atlas.

    2. Matt, might have to do a article on Russia air power vs Usa.

      Bombers, flight paths, fighter jets. :-)

    3. I was pondering if I aught to write an article discussing some of the major geopolitical "lessons learned" from the Ukrainian crisis but I haven't decided yet. As far as a match up between the two air forces are concerned, I think it would be as even as some might think if NATO was able to knock out Russian C4ISR assets quickly. The 2008 Ossetia War showed Russia's C4ISR capabilities are mediocre at best. Russian colonels had to use sat phones to communicate to their troops because official military lies of communication were terrible. Despite the military modernization efforts since that time, a lot of work remains for Russia. The Russian procurement strategy tends to favor buying lots of shinny fighter jets and tanks over boring support and logistics assets.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. I have read quiet a few articles over the yr's.

      Russia, have very good capability to produce HQ jet engines, but have issue maintaining them with the same high quality.

      Russia is struggling to get pilots to the same level as there best test pilots who fly the SU35 at France airshow and the T50, they are just not spending enough time in the air.

      Russia military has a lot of issues as well, with Recruitment, and death of trainees while in there first 3 yrs. Also keeping them in the military, they defense mister has been quoted as saying they need to be paid better and have more opportunity for a career after the leave the military.

      Russia has major funding issue and culture within the military and air force.

      On the news it looks like they have move S-300/400 system into cremia, there is no way of getting it back.

      You also have to bring up Iraq, how the USA went in when the UN voted against it, and told the USA that there where NO WMD in Iraq, daily booming and hundred of thousands of civilians deaths since the USA invasion. Hell there was a booming yesterday with 38 dead, a Journo said that is a daily occurrence for Iraq.

      At least with Russia no one has died. About 70%-80% of the population speak Russian, and 60% where born in Russia.

      So geopolitical, the USA has not got a leg to stand on, but if Russia goes for more, then we will see military action. But with EU cutting defense across every country, the USA will have to lift the burden on it own.

      I don't think Russia wants a war, but Russia might have bitten more they can chew, thank god, Sarah Palian or Ted Cruze is not office. Other wise matt, we would not be having this discussion. :-)