Each year, the Department of Defense (DoD) submits Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) to Congress detailing the status, plans, and funding requirements for almost eighty Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). The most recent unclassified SARs, which were submitted in December 2015 and are consistent with the President’s FY 2017 budget request, project funding and quantities for major acquisition programs extending more than thirty years into the future. The SARs project that these programs will need $321 billion over the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), spanning FY 2017 to FY 2021, and an additional $410 billion in FY 2022 and beyond.
The Weapon Systems Factbook summarizes the program plans and funding for each of the major acquisition programs with a SAR and four additional programs: the Air Force’s new B-21 bomber; Long Range Standoff Missile (LRSO); and Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the future replacement for the Minuteman III; and the Navy’s Ohio-class replacement program. These four programs do not have public SARs, but enough is known about each program to construct a reasonable cost estimate. The B-21, LRSO, GBSD, and Ohio Replacement programs are among the largest acquisition programs in DoD’s portfolio, and any discussion of major acquisitions would be incomplete without them. The programs included in this report represent 34 percent of the total acquisition budget in the FY 2017 FYDP. The remaining 66 percent of funding is used for hundreds of smaller acquisition programs not reported in the SAR or other programs too early in development to be included in the SAR.
The Factbook is divided by categories of weapon systems: aircraft, air and missile defense, communications and electronics, ground systems, missiles and munitions, nuclear forces, shipbuilding, and space systems. The aircraft category is the largest among these, both in terms of the number of programs and the total funding projected. It includes fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and manned and unmanned aircraft for all four Services.
Unless otherwise noted, the cost and quantity figures used in this report are from the December 2015 SARs obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request. The SARs data does not include complete funding projections for some programs, as is noted throughout the report.
Unlike other CSBA budget analyses, cost figures in this report are shown in then-year dollars unless otherwise noted.