* The Trump administration's fiscal year 2020 budget request calls for a major boost in military space program funding. But spending plans indicate that investments could dip in subsequent years, according to one expert.
Senior officials have been touting efforts to beef up U.S. space capabilities and establish a new space force for the Defense Department. But the Pentagon's five-year budget blueprint shows a "surprising" trend, said Mike Tierney, a budget analyst and consultant for Velos, a Maryland-based defense, aerospace and intelligence consulting firm.
In the 2020 request, major force program, or MFP-12, initiatives received a 22.8 percent increase over 2019 requested levels. The $9.9 billion requested is 21 percent more than the $8.3 billion that Congress appropriated for 2019, according to Tierney's data charts.
"These increases are really only getting the space portfolio back to the level that it had been prior to sequestration" which was triggered in 2013, he noted. "Space was not spared from that at all, and we are now kind of on the upswing from the valley."
However, despite the growing emphasis on space as a war-fighting domain, Tierney's analysis of Pentagon spending plans shows that funding would decline after 2020.
Relative to the 2020 request, projections for 2021 anticipate a 6.2 percent reduction--down to $9.3 billion--for die MFP-12 programs that Velos tracks.
Spending would also be lower in 2022 and 2023, with projected reductions of 4.1 percent and...