The Air Force’s Fiscal 2013 budget request for science and technology is about $2.2 billion, including about $200 million to support devolved programs such as high-energy laser efforts, said Steven Walker, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for science, technology, and engineering. That’s a $64 million decrease, or roughly 2.8 percent, from Fiscal 2012, he told members of the House Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities panel last week. “This reflects a more modest reduction than that taken across the total Air Force budget and indicates the strong support for science and technology from our leadership in this challenging fiscal environment,” said Walker. He outlined the service’s four S&T priorities: supporting the current fight while advancing breakthrough technologies for tomorrow; executing a balanced, integrated S&T program responsive to Air Force core functions like projecting power in anti-access/area-denial environments; retaining and shaping critical competencies to address the full range of S&T products and support; and ensuring S&T efforts remain focused on the service’s highest priority needs. (Walker’s prepared testimony)
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.