The Army's future research-and-development spending will be focused on technologies needed to fight a large-scale conflict against advanced adversaries such as Russia, according to defense budget experts.
After more than a decade of focusing on counterinsurgency needs, the Army is now preparing for "the big war," Robert Levinson, senior defense analyst with Bloomberg Government, said during a recent briefing for industry and media.
Cameron Leuthy, senior budget analyst with Bloomberg Government, said the Army's future years defense program plan demonstrates this trend.
The service's research development, test and evaluation budget is projected to increase 25 percent between fiscal years 2017 and 2022, to $10.24 billion. Priorities include air and missile defense, cybersecurity, electronic warfare, high-energy lasers, advanced munitions, active protective systems and future vertical lift helicopter technology, according to Bloomberg Government slides.
Analysts see "continued drive in that direction... for the big state-on-state kind of conflict that the Army needs to deter," Levinson said.
Under the service's five-year plan, from fiscal years 2018 to 2022, funding for advanced aviation development would increase 1,234 percent, to $173.5 million; armored systems modernization would grow 368 percent, to $133.2 million; electronic warfare development would jump 24 percent to $21.1 million; and lower-tier missile defense capabilities would rise 85 percent, to $65.3 million, Levinson and Leuthy calculated.
The service is looking for leap-ahead capabilities, Leuthy said.
The Army plans to invest a disproportionate amount on science and technology...