Procurement and research are in the ‘gaining’ portion of the budget

Hat tip reader ilsm for this article by Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg News,
July 6, 2010

U.S. spending on weapons through 2016 likely will grow faster than the overall defense budget, which will have annual increases of only about 1 percent above inflation, according to Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale.

“Our goal would be to get forces and modernization to grow by 2 or 3 percent,” Hale said in an interview, while saying that “it’s not a given.”

An increase in weapons spending will include greater purchases of Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter, new ground vehicles, ship construction, satellite systems and unmanned drones, according to the Pentagon’s long- range plan. Northrop Grumman Corp., of Los Angeles, and Chicago-based Boeing Co. also stand to benefit.

Some money may be shifted into equipment and personnel accounts from an effort to cut $100 billion of overhead costs over five years, announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on June 28, Hale said.

“Procurement and research are in the ‘gaining’ portion of the budget,” Hale said. “The goal would be to move money from support-type activities — operations and maintenance, military construction — into acquisition.”