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Defense Spending

The following document is not necessarily endorsed by the Almanac of Policy Issues.

Summary of the FY 2003 Defense Budget
(signed into law on October 23, 2002) 
House Republicans: Committee Central

The bill reported by the Defense Appropriations Conference provides a total of $355.1 billion in new discretionary spending authority for the Defense Department for FY 2003, a reduction of $1.6 billion to the budget request (not including the $10 billion reserve). It is also an increase of $37.5 billion over FY 2002 levels (not including supplementals).

Major Highlights


  • $788 million for procurement of the Army’s Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle, and additions of $60 million over the budget request for Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

  • Termination of the Army’s Crusader artillery system and acceleration of funding for other indirect fire weapons, including $369 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) cannon system, an addition of $173 million to the budget).

  • $251 million for the Army’s Future Combat System, including an addition to the amended budget request of $105 million.

  • Addition of $30 million over the budget request for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.

  • $131 million for procurement of 22 Predator UAVs, an addition of $26 million over the budget request.

  • $129 million for procurement of 3 Global Hawk UAVs, and $42 million to accelerate development of a Navy Global Hawk variant (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance).

  • $338 million for the Air Force’s Multi-sensor Command and Control Constellation (MC2C) development program.

  • Approves an increase of 17 percent for the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) over FY 2002 levels.

  • Adds $34 million over the request for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Unconventional Nuclear Threat initiative, and added $25 million over the request for a Chemical/Biological Defense Initiative Fund to take advantage of rapidly emerging technologies.


Approves net increases to the President’s request for the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP), which had represented the largest one-year increase in intelligence spending in over two decades


Total funding of $7.4 billion, a net reduction of $43 million to the budget request.

  • Includes full funding for major initiatives such as the Ground-Based Midcourse Segment/Pacific Test Bed and the Airborne Laser.

  • Adds funds to Theater Missile Defense systems including PATRIOT PAC-3 ($672 million, a net addition of $50 million to the budget request) and the joint U.S.-Israel ARROW program ($136 million, an addition of $70 million to the budget request)


  • Approves $3.3 billion for 15 C-17 transport aircraft, an addition of $586 million to the budget to fully fund the FY 2003 acquisition costs instead of incremental funding as proposed by the Air Force.

  • Approves multiyear request for future procurement of 40 C-130Js for the Air Force and 24 KC-130Js for the Marine Corps.


  • Includes language requiring rigorous operational assessment of the Navy-Marine Corps Internet program before entering next phase of program expansion.

  • Sets ceiling on the use of management reserve funds for service chiefs and secretaries of $160 million.

  • Reduces contractor advisory and assistance and business management workyears, resulting in savings of $850 million.

  • Terminates troubled BAT anti-armor program (-$145 million) while also providing $45 million for multi-mode seeker technology based on BAT work to date.

  • Terminates the Wide Area Munition (WAM) program due to severe technical issues related to sensors and extremely high projected unit costs (-$46.4 million).

  • Reduces budget request by $97 million due to savings from improved management of Government purchase card program.

  • Reduces budget request by $59 million due to unwarranted growth in DoD travel expenses.

Other Highlights

MILITARY PERSONNEL - $93.6 billion ($11.5 billion over FY 2002)

  • Supports the budget request for 1.4 million active duty and 864,558 guard and reserve personnel.

  • Fully funds the pay raise of 4.1 percent.

  • Adds $110 million over the budget for enhanced force structure for B-52 squadrons, and Guard and Reserve full time support personnel.

OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE -  $114.8 billion ($9.7 billion over FY 2002)

  • Fully funds budgeted increases in steaming, flying, and training hours.

  • Fully funds proposed Administration increases for spare parts, real property and depot maintenance.

PROCUREMENT - $71.6 billion ($10.7 billion over FY 2002)

RDTE - $58.6 billion ($9.9 billion over FY 2002)



  • $270 million for 19 Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, an increase of $116 million and 7 aircraft to the budget request.

  • $3.2 billion for 46 Navy F/A-18 E/F fighters, including an additional $120 million over the budget request for 2 additional aircraft.

  • $4.0 billion for 23 F-22 fighters, the budgeted amount.

  • $3.5 billion for continued development of the multi-service Joint Strike Fighter.


  • $1.25 billion for Army ammunition, $94 million over the budget request.

  • $249 million for Navy Tomahawk cruise missiles.

  • $770 million for Navy/Air Force JDAM precision-guided bomb kits.


Total funding of $9.0 billion, a net increase of $842 million over the budget request. Programs include:

  • $2.3 billion for 2 DDG-51 AEGIS destroyers;

  • $1.5 billion for 1 Virginia-class attack submarine;

  • $645 million for continued conversion of 4 Trident ballistic missile submarines to cruise missile attack submarines;

  • $90 million over the budget request to incorporate a modern Integrated Warfare System (IWS) on the CVN-77 aircraft carrier;

  • $160 million over the budget request for CVN(X) Next Generation Aircraft Carrier risk mitigation; and

  • $1.3 billion to buy down costs associated with prior year shipbuilding, an add of $635 million over the budget, including $311 million for costs associated with the workload swap for the DDG-51 and LPD-17 programs.


  • Provides $1.78 billion for Defense Working Capital Funds.

  • Provides $943 million for the National Defense Sealift Fund.


  • "Tricare for Life" post-65 military retirement medical care funded at $7.7 billion.

  • Provides $150 million for Breast Cancer Research.

  • Provides $85 million for Prostate Cancer Research.

DRUG INTERDICTION - $882 million


Approved over $28 billion in personnel and readiness funding for the Guard and Reserve, and added $100 million over the budget request for dedicated Guard and Reserve equipment procurement.





  • Military Spending Working Group: Formed in mid-1994, the Military Spending Working Group (MSWG) is a coalition of two dozen research and advocacy organizations seeking to educate members of the public, news media, and government about the possibility and desirability of reducing excess military spending globally.

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