House Lawmakers Cut Prompt-Strike Funding

House defense appropriators roughly halved the Pentagon’s funding request for development of conventional prompt global strike capabilities next fiscal year. They approved only $104.8 million of the $204.8 million sought by the Defense Department, according to the House Appropriations Committee’s report accompanying the committee’s version of the Fiscal 2012 defense spending bill. The report gives no reason for the reduction. However, Global Security Newswire reported that the lawmakers shifted the $100 million to higher priorities, citing a committee staffer. Interestingly, the appropriators upped next year’s funding for the Air Force’s next-generation bomber by $100 million to $297 million. House defense authorizers in May cut $25 million from the Pentagon’s CPGS request, citing concern that the Pentagon may be pushing too hard for an operational system before demonstrating that the technology is feasible. The Air Force’s CPGS concept is the Conventional Strike Missile, a long–range ballistic missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle atop it to strike high-value targets anywhere on the globe within about 40 minutes of launch. (HAC report; caution, large file.)