Defense

April 22, 2013

AF leaders highlight space program successes, address fiscal 2014 budget

Space today is in as good a position as it’s been in a very long time, said Richard McKinney, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for space.

McKinney, along with Dr. Jamie Morin, the acting under secretary of the Air Force, and Brig. Gen. Robert McMurry, the director of space programs for the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, briefed members of the media on the Air Force’s fiscal 2014 Space Budget April 15 in the Pentagon..

“We’re in production,” McKinney said. “We’ve got missile warning in production, we’ve got Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, (satellites) in production, and Wideband Global SATCOM is in production. On launch — we have 10 years of 100 percent successful flights. We have more capability today than we have ever had.”

The Air Force has requested approximately $6.5 billion for its space investment portfolio in fsical 2014. The top five programs include: the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, Space Based Infrared System early warning satellites, Global Positioning System III navigation satellites, AEHF military communications satellites, and space situational awareness systems.

The fiscal 2014 request is slightly higher than the fiscal 2013 request of $6.3 billion for its space investment portfolio, but does not reflect the cuts that would take place under sequestration. It does, however, reflect the Air Force’s ongoing commitment to providing enhanced space capabilities to the joint team.

“We continue to offer the nation these space capabilities which are a tremendous force multiplier,” Morin said. “Relying on space, whether it’s reliable communications or precision navigation or warning of what others might be doing in space or warning of missile launches, all of that enables the other parts of the joint team to function very effectively and provides those force multipliers we’re relying on.”

And being a force multiplier is something that is all the more essential as budgets are under stress, Morin said.

“We’ve been working hard to take costs out of the space programs. We’ve had some real successes,” he said, highlighting the fact that sequestration would undermine these achievements. “If we pull the rug out from under that through continued budgetary uncertainty or ill-conceived cuts, then we’re going to do a disservice to the taxpayer who is just now beginning to benefit from this effort to squeeze costs down.”

Morin also highlighted several space programs that the Air Force successfully found ways to stretch dollars and provide stability.

“The Advanced Extremely High Frequency communication satellite – we are now predicting more than $1 billion in savings based on the contract work that has been done on that,” he said. “On the Space Based Infrared System, we’ve already projected over $500 million in savings.”

The Air Force has also moved to a “block buy,” of launch systems, purchasing a number of items at a time, allowing for lower per-unit prices – with a path to enable competition for certified new entrants, which will allow for significant savings.

McMurry also spoke about the successes that have been achieved through the Joint Space Operations Center Mission System, or JMS.

“We’ve brought the initial operational capability in three years, and pulled $500 million out of the program while still meeting operational requirements,” McMurry said, describing a joint effort that involved moving to a commercially procured software approach.

The service has also seen success through partnerships with allies, enabling a cost-share where all parties can share the capability of the satellite.

“In both the AEHF and WGS communication satellite programs, you’ve seen us ink agreements with allies, in some cases multiple allies,” Morin said. “This is win, win, win on so many different levels. It’s promoting interoperability with key partners. It’s driving down costs to the U.S. taxpayer, and it’s building more capacity in these constellations.”

In light of these successes and efforts to drive costs down, Morin emphasized the fact that programs still remain vulnerable. However the service will continue to strive for stability in the space program to ensure it can provide those capabilities the joint team relies on.

“The Air Force’s capabilities in space are going to continue to be touchstones for the whole joint team, the whole of government and for the private sector,” Morin said. “We’re committed to enabling the joint force, providing the force multipliers that make the joint force stronger. And we’re committed to doing so in a way that’s respectful of the taxpayers’ dollar.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>