Time is ticking for Biden administration’s defence policy decisions
By William Davies, associate aerospace and defence analyst at GlobalData
The Biden administration will have to make several decisions in the coming months about defence priorities for the 2022 budget, including hypersonic as well as missile defence spending.
There are a number of ongoing hypersonic projects of varying expense across military branches, including the conventional prompt strike programme, which received $1.03bn worth of funding in 2021.
In addition to key hypersonic programmes, the Biden administration and new Democratic congress will have to make funding decisions about a variety of priorities. They are likely to make substantial changes to Trump’s 2022 budget request.
The budget is expected to be produced by mid-March, so the Biden administration will have to make changes quickly on top of handling other major domestic policy challenges such as the Covid-19 crisis.
Key hypersonic programmes have run to significant costs and tough decisions have been made in the past about which programs to stick with, which led to the cancellation of the Hacksaw programme in 2020 to dedicate more resources to the ARRW programme. These decisions will become more common as more programmes approach maturity and become more viable.
Missile defence will also be a significant focus of the Biden administration. There is significant debate over the next generation interceptor programme, and funding for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has increased in recent years as the threat from hypersonics becomes more potent. Congress in 2020 boosted the MDA’s budget to $1.3bn amid fears that its budget was insufficient to address emerging threats.
The recent GlobalData report, Hypersonic Technologies in Aerospace and Defense, outlines recent advances in hypersonics as well as detailing major programmes currently proceeding globally and business opportunities in the market.
For more defence industry comment and analysis, visit GlobalData’s Aerospace, Defense & Security Intelligence Centre.
// Image: US President Joe Biden. Credit: Getty