The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) submitted a $367.5 million unfunded priorities list with the fiscal year 2022 budget request this month, topped with extra missile defense interceptors and more hypersonic defense funds.
According to the annual wish list obtained by Defense Daily, it was delivered on June 4. The document said while the agency supports the regular budget request, “this request is intended to outline needs that were not included in the official budget submission but that would be vital if additional funding was available.”
The top two listed priorities are $41 million for two Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA All Up Rounds and $110 million for 12 more Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors.
The base MDA budget requests $755 million in Aegis procurement, including $647 million to procure 40 SM-3 Block IB missiles and eight SM-3 Block IIA missiles. The base budget also requested $251.5 million for 18 THAAD interceptors (Defense Daily, May 28).
The third priority is adding $62 million in funds that “accelerates the development of hypersonic defensive systems.” The list divides that into $40 million to participate and collect data in flight test events to support development and fielding of hypersonic defense capabilities; $12 million to conduct systems engineering activities needed to evolve missile defense systems further to address hypersonic threats with added testing; and $10 million to “identify and develop new technology and capabilities with industry” needed to support defense like advanced long-term seeker windows, thermal protection systems testing, and lethality testing of non-kinetic systems.
The base budget already requested $248 million for hypersonic defense. MDA’s budget documents said the agency is “developing a layered defensive architecture to address regional hypersonic threats from any source and leveraging sensors for early warning, identification, and tracking of regional and strategic hypersonic threats.”
The fourth priority is $55 million to fund improvements to cybersecurity of the ballistic missile defense system critical infrastructure, compliance with the DoD cybersecurity Discipline Implementation Plan, and protect MDA information technology systems in highly-contested cybersecurity threat environment.
The last eight priorities are:
- $48 million in hardware and software upgrades to the Aegis Baseline 9 destroyers to digitize the radar back end, resulting in solid-state radar-like performance;
- $27 million to develop and demonstrate a tower-based fire control sensor for cruise missile defense of homeland “for indications and warnings and potential engagement of cruise missile threats” that will also provide indications of hypersonic missile threats;
- $20 million in “Pacing the Threat” to increase MDA and DoD focus on system survivability of exo-atmospheric manmade and natural space environment radiation environments; and,
- $4 million to integrate Command and Control Battle Management Communications engineering development laboratories into the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept “to enable test and engineering events.”
The $27 million in additional cruise missile defense funding would be on top of the MDA’s base request of $14 million to begin developing the system architecture for cruise missile defense of the homeland.