Air Force Seeks Fiscal 2008 Funds For Missiles, Space Programs
The Air Force would spend about $800 million more for missiles in fiscal 2008 than in the current 2007, and $400 million more for equipment, according to budget documents and briefings.
Space systems continue to represent a hefty chunk of the Air Force request for modernization and recapitalization in fiscal 2008, representing about $8.4 billion of the $38.9 billion total, a senior Air Force official told reporters.
Of its major space initiatives, the Air Force seeks to spend $1.04 billion on the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) High missile warning satellite program in fiscal 2008. This would continue the assembly, integration and testing of the first two geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) satellites, and provide advanced procurement of the GEO-3 satellite as well as continued development of the potential replacement to SBIRS High, the Alternative Infrared Satellite System.
Work on the latter would receive $230.9 million in fiscal 2008, on top of the other SBIRS High outlays. Launch of the first GEO satellite is slated for fiscal 2009.
The SBIRS High funding also supports, for the first time, the acquisition of the third and fourth payloads for classified satellites intended for use in highly elliptical Earth orbit (HEO). These two would replenish the first two HEO satellites planned under the constellation
The Air Force seeks $936.6 million for the Transformational Communications Satellite (TSAT) system program, up from the $729.9 appropriated in fiscal 2007, to continue its development.
First launch of a TSAT spacecraft is now planned in fiscal 2016, a slip of a year to account for congressional funding cuts in this fiscal year, according to the senior Air Force official.
The fiscal 2008 funding request for the Space Radar is unavailable since the joint program is moving under the control of the National Reconnaissance Office from which funding information is classified.
First launch of a Space Radar is now projected for fiscal 2016, the senior Air Force official said.