Defense expects big IT spending boost in 2006

The Defense Department today unveiled a $419.3 billion budget that calls for raising IT spending by the largest margin in the past four years.

President Bush asked Congress to approve $30.1 billion for IT programs next year, a 4.9 percent increase over this year. The president's budget proposal would raise the entire government's IT spending by 7.1 percent.

"The 2006 budget supports substantial investments in advanced technology to provide advantages over our enemies, particularly in remote sensing and high-performance computing," Defense noted in a summary of IT spending. "Investments in communications are improving connectivity between troops and their commanders well beyond the field of battle. These developments are improving our ability to detect and counter the broad range of threats facing the United States, reaping benefits for both U.S. forces and homeland security."

The budget proposal includes a 3.1 percent personnel pay raise and additional bonuses to support recruiting and retention. The president also would increase by 1,400 the number of special operations personnel in the intelligence community.

Some budget highlights include:



  • $613 million for acquisition of the Littoral Combat Ship, an increase of $156 million from this year


  • $836 million to continue development of Transformational Satellite Communications


  • $1.2 billion for the Advanced Extremely High-Frequency Satellite Communications System


  • $1.7 billion for unmanned vehicles


  • $3.4 billion for the Army's Future Combat System, an increase of $200 million


  • $5 billion for the Joint Strike Fighter.




The budget also would nix or cut funding for several major Defense programs to slow production rate for the V-22, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the F/A-22 and several classes of large warships.

DOD has terminated the Joint Missile Program, which represents a $2.3 billion cut, and the Air Force C-130J cargo aircraft procurement, a $5 billion cut.

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