Posted this morning:
U.S. military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant could require between $2.4 billion and $22 billion annually, a wide-ranging estimate prepared by independent defense analysts in a new report whose findings underscore uncertainty about the scope of the new U.S. mission in Iraq and Syria.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) today published a new report estimating costs for a range of potential operations and various durations against ISIL, also called ISIS, providing one baseline for public discussion of the new campaign in the Middle East. This report comes as the Defense Department is internally preparing its own long-term assessment of operational contingency costs to fight ISIL.
"On an annualized basis, the lower-intensity air operations could cost $2.4 [billion] to $3.8 billion per year, the higher-intensity air operations could cost $4.2 [billion] to $6.8 billion per year, and deployment of a larger ground contingent could drive annual costs as high as $13 [billion] to $22 billion," states the CSBA report, "Estimating the Cost of Operations Against ISIL."
Related budget news from Friday:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has launched a long-term analysis of how the Defense Department plans to fund its expanded campaign against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, but Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey already sees "budget problems" approaching the Pentagon.
"We are going to require additional funding from Congress as we go forward," Hagel told reporters Sept. 26 at a Pentagon press conference, noting that DOD was meeting with Capitol Hill officials and studying the long-term implications for funding President Obama's new, open-ended campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. "We're doing that right now," Hagel added. "This is a critical part of this."
The top story in this week's Inside the Army is on the service's acquisition practices:
Top Army officials convened at the Pentagon last week to discuss how the service should improve its acquisition practices as it faces a series of complex challenges, according to Gen. David Perkins.
The commander of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command met Sept. 25 with Brad Carson, the under secretary of the Army, and service Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn at the Army Management Action Group forum to discuss how the Army postulates requirements to make sure newly acquired equipment fits a variety of roles.
"We are not organized, even within the Army, to look at things necessarily that way," Perkins told attendees Sept. 25 at the Stimson Center in Washington. "Which is why I'm going to be spending quality time this afternoon at the Pentagon with [Carson and Allyn] specifically on that piece: How do we get a better view of the total capability we're looking at, versus just a thing."
Lockheed Martin is hoping MEADS can be kept alive:
A newly begun Pentagon review of the Army's air and missile defense plans has Lockheed Martin hopeful that its previously rejected Medium Extended Air Defense System could make a return.
News of the study comes at a crucial time for the project. Germany, a co-financier along with Italy and the United States, is expected to decide this fall whether it will phase in the system as part of its missile-defense equipment modernization. Poland also is in the midst of identifying a follow-on program, as are Italy and the Netherlands. While Poland is said to prefer Patriot, made by Raytheon, a final decision is still pending.
"We need a launch government," Lockheed's Marty Coyne said of the system's prospects at a Sept. 24 company media briefing in Washington. "We've done what we can do to posture ourselves."
More missile defense news from ITA:
Companies vying to redesign the "kill vehicle" atop U.S. long-range missile interceptors have been asked to refine their offers based on new government guidance, a defense-industry official said.
Doug Graham, Lockheed Martin's vice president of advanced programs for strategic and missile defense systems, told reporters at a Sept. 23 company briefing in Washington that the Missile Defense Agency requested the offer modifications earlier this month.
The government is considering bids by Lockheed, Boeing and incumbent Raytheon. Officials are expected to formally kick off a product-development phase for a redesigned Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle in the next half-year. The system is designed to ram and destroy incoming missiles once released from Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptors in space.
DOD officials and their Polish counterparts are working on a defense cooperation agreement:
The U.S. Defense Department and Poland's Ministry of Defense are currently negotiating a deal that would provide the framework for the two countries to cooperate on future defense projects.
DOD Director of International Cooperation Keith Webster informed Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) of the potential agreement in an Aug. 7 letter obtained by Inside the Army. Attached to the letter is a project certification that outlines the proposal for cooperation on future research, development, test and evaluation projects.
Under the agreement, the defense agencies of the two nations may "exchange funds, contract on each other's behalf, provide equipment to each other, and dispose of jointly acquired equipment in order to carry out RDT&E agreement activities," according to the project certification.
DARPA has awarded a pair of UAV contracts:
The Defense Department has necked down a five-way competition to develop a new medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft capable of being launched and recovered from small ships, awarding Northrop Grumman and AeroVironment contracts to mature technology and conduct preliminary design for their respective Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) UAV concepts.
On Sept. 22 and Sept. 24, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded Northrop and AeroVironment, respectively, $19 million contracts for the second phase of the TERN advanced technology program.
DARPA, in collaboration with the Office of Naval Research, is funding the TERN program in hopes of developing an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system that could operate from an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer's flight deck and match the performance of land-based, medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) systems such as the Predator.
-- John Liang