How Much for Black Programs?

The Pentagon’s Fiscal 2009 budget request includes about $34 billion in acquisition funding for so-called black programs, according to a Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments budget update, and that is about 19 percent of DOD’s overall procurement and R&D request. CSBA analyst Steven Kosiak says the 2009 request is the “second highest level of funding provided for classified acquisition programs since FY 1987.” The 2007 request, he says, was higher by about five percent because it includes war-related funding. He predicts that once war-related funding is added, the 2009 figure will “surpass” 2007. Of the DOD record in bringing classified weapons systems to fruition, Kosiak declares it “has been mixed,” however, he includes the Air Force’s B-2 bomber and F-117 stealth fighter as “effective” systems that started in the black world. The Fiscal 2009 budget request for the Air Force has the largest share of the classified acquisition funding—”more than three-quarters of the total”—which, Kosiak explains is because the Air Force supports intelligence agencies and has the bulk of the military’s command, control, communications, and intelligence functions and related space systems and facilities.