The draft House defense spending bill for fiscal 2023, released today, would fill the Space Force’s request in its unfunded priorities list for two additional launches for the Space Development Agency, bringing the total number of launches funded under the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program to eight.
All told, the space service doesn’t fare too badly under the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee’s draft — getting a slight bump up from its nearly $3.63 billion procurement request of about $100 million to $3.72 billion, but taking an approximate $300 million cut in its almost $15.8 billion research and development request to $15.5 billion.
In the research, development, test and evaluation (RTD&E) pot, the most interesting change was to plump the Space Force’s request from a total request of about $639 million to $788 million for what the service now calls Resilient Missile Warning-Missile Tracking. That effort lumps together two separate programs: SDA’s planned Tracking Layer satellites in Low Earth Orbit being optimized to track hypersonic missiles, for which the service requested $499.8 million, and the Space Systems Command new initiative to develop missile warning/tracking birds in Medium Earth Orbit to do the same, with a request of $139.1 million.
Meanwhile, the HAC-D draft fully funds the service’s RTD&E request for the flagship Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Overhead (Next-Gen OPIR) missile warning constellation in Geosynchronous and polar orbits at $3.45 billion.
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