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The National Security Space Committee analyzed the House Armed Services Committee markup of the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act at thier last monthly meeting. The language is in line with AIA recommendations and includes an expression of support for the Defense Department Efficient Space Procurement initiative, citing that the Department will “realize substantial savings from the ESP block-buy approach, enabled by a fixed-price contract and fixed requirements.” The committee also more than doubled funding for the Operationally Responsive Space and Space Test Program initiatives.
The HASC markup also clearly rejected the administration’s request to dissolve Operationally Responsive Space. AIA’s Marion Blakey recently wrote an op-ed for Space News opposing the fiscal year 2013 request for ORS and other proposed military space research and development reductions. The NDAA has since been passed by the House of Representatives, including committee-sought provisions on satellite export reform and hypersonic ground testing.
With regard to hypersonics, AIA’s Missile Technology and Defense Steering Committee has continued its efforts to support a robust hypersonics industrial base by developing a new white paper on funding cuts to hypersonics efforts at NASA. NASA’s investment in hypersonics has dropped substantially in recent years. In 2006, NASA hypersonics efforts were funded at about $70 million then dropping to as low as $25 million by 2012. In the fiscal year 2013 NASA budget request, an estimated $4.5 million will be made available for hypersonics and sustainment of some test capabilities at NASA. AIA’s President and CEO Marion C. Blakey recently testified before the House Science Committee and discussed some of the proposed cuts to NASA hypersonics. In addition to HASC support for NASA’s role in defense hypersonics, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Defense expressed its disappointment in the cuts to NASA hypersonics and requested a report on how NASA will maintain hypersonic research expertise.
Another important issue is the government’s efforts to repurpose spectrum. A recent National Telecommunications & Information Administration report highlights a potential repurposing of spectrum in the 1755-1850 MHz band, which includes all military space telemetry, tracking and control. Please refer to the slides for a detailed update on this initiative.
AIA Source: mike.conschafter[at]aia-aerospace.org