Masterpiece Theater: Missed Opportunities for Missile Defense in the 2020 Budget
March 29, 2019
The Trump administration’s proposed 2020 budget is not a masterpiece for missile defense. Its actions are inadequate to the challenge of complex and integrated air and missile attack from major powers and therefore insufficiently aligned with the National Defense Strategy.
The budget’s principal shortcoming is the failure to prioritize a space sensor layer, a critical capability for the birth-to-death tracking of hypersonic glide vehicles and ballistic missile threats.
The modest funding for space sensors is largely confined to the repetition of studies and analysis that have already been done. Further delays are likely by transferring the payload development to the nascent Space Development Agency.
Both the top line for the Missile Defense Agency and the percent of funds for research and development of advanced technology continue to decline.
Army and Navy budgets included several important investments to bolster air and missile defense.
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