Carter Tours Defense-Budget Innovation Programs Of China Lake

PROGRAMS-CHINA-LAKE sked REGULATORY INTELLIGENCE DATA BASE February 02, 2016 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AGENCY GROUP 09 703-571-3343 INDSTRY GROUP 91 REGION GROUP 04 CARTER TOURS DEFENSE-BUDGET INNOVATION PROGRAMS OF CHINA LAKE CQ-Roll Call, Inc. 1255 22nd Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 ...

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REGULATORY INTELLIGENCE DATA BASE

February 02, 2016

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CARTER TOURS DEFENSE-BUDGET INNOVATION PROGRAMS OF CHINA LAKE

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WASHINGTON, February 3, 2016 - The work performed at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake signifies "the critical importance" the Defense Department places on science and technology for high-end and high-tech innovation, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters at the California base yesterday.

The secretary briefed the media on the $582.7 billion defense budget request to be released next week as part of the White House's overall fiscal year 2017 budget request.

"We are making sure that we're making the investments we need to do in modernization," Carter said of the budget request. "We're making sure we make the investments we need to make in training and readiness. We are making substantial investments in force structure as well, but there's a balance. . You'll see that balance struck in every domain."

China Lake is in the sweet spot of DoD's strategic transition, and with heavy emphasis on research and development, some of its high-end, innovative capabilities are reflected in his budget request, Carter said. "R&D spending [is] consistent with our determination to remain innovative."

The budget request reflects a major inflection point for DoD, and investments made today will keep the nation ahead of its principal potential antagonists who have high-end capability, he said, noting that the U.S. edge will be retained.

On the Cutting Edge

"Munitions, the lethality of systems, sensors -- everything [China Lake does] -- is part of the cutting edge, not only strategically and technologically, but [also] budgetarily," Carter said.

China Lake's programs point in the same direction of the best platforms and high-end, multiplying capability of U.S. ships, aircraft and submarines, the secretary said. Developing high-end capability means making sure Navy ships, submarines and aircraft are lethal and have the best weapons, he added.

Some of China Lake's programs represented in the budget include the Tomahawk cruise missile, the long range anti-ship missile and the anti- radiation homing missile, the secretary noted.

Missile Innovation

The constantly evolving Tomahawk is flown to China Lake for testing, Carter said, adding that DoD wants to diversify the kinds of targets they can strike, from land attack to an anti-ship version so DoD can continue to diversify its suite of anti-ship missiles, "in the spirit of making everything we have lethal."

Adding $2 billion over the Future Years Defense Program will buy 4,000 Tomahawks and pay for advanced capability development to extend the cruise missile's life, he explained. The nearly $1 billion increase over the Future Years Defense Program for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile's "lethality" is big money for munitions, but very important, Carter said, adding that the budget request also calls for $418 million more than the FYDP to boost the anti-radiation homing missile's capability to strike enemy air defenses.

Greatest Capability, Lethality

"The point is these are large investments in the strategic future at the high end, aimed at making sure that our systems have the greatest capability, the greatest lethality in this case, of anybody else," the secretary said.

And those investments are critical as DoD continues to focus on the full spectrum of threats, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and up through those "who we hope never become antagonists of the United States, but are clearly competitors," he said.

"We have to balance and make sure [we are in] the best shape in our military for the amount of money we have in our budget," Carter said. "That's just a reality."

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronk)

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