Center for American Progress

Continue Space-Based Weapons Development at a Low Rate
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Continue Space-Based Weapons Development at a Low Rate

The United States should continue research on space-based weapons programs to guard against future threats, but their development and deployment should be strictly limited.

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The United States should continue research on space-based weapons programs to guard against future threats, but their development and deployment should be strictly limited. Specifically, the Obama administration should reduce by half the current budgets for a number of potentially provocative programs. The Air Force’s Space Systems Protection program, for example, is designed to develop “tools, instruments, and mitigation techniques required to assure operation of U.S. space assets in potentially hostile warfighting environments.” The administration requested $8.118 million in RDT&E funding for the program in the next fiscal year, and could save approximately $4 million by slowing its development by half.

Other potential cuts could come from RDT&E funding for the Air Force’s Space Control Technology programs, which support space situational awareness, defensive and offensive counter-space activities, and command-and-control battle management. The Air Force requested $97.7 million for these programs in FY 2010, meaning the Obama administration could save approximately $48.9 million from these programs next year.

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