The House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subpanel is set to mark up Thursday its version of fiscal year 2018 defense spending bill that would establish a separate space corps to oversee national security space initiatives and direct the Air Force secretary to lead the new organization.
HASC said Tuesday the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018 contains provisions that would bar the Defense Department secretary to sign any satellite services contracts that pose cyber risks and permit the full funding level for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear proliferation program for defense and other nuclear weapons operations.
The proposed bill would require an independent review of contracts that support the operations of NNSA’s national laboratories, direct the head of the Missile Defense Agency to build a space-based sensor component for ballistic missile defense and require the DoD secretary to move the procurement authority for missile defense programs to a military department once the White House submits its budget request for fiscal 2020.
The subcommittee also proposed the acquisition of 147 PAC-3 MSE missiles and additional 24 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptors and expressed support to Israel’s request for the co-development of missile defense platforms.
The bill also contains provisions that would direct the U.S. Space Command to operate as a sub-unified unit within the U.S. Strategic Command and prohibit the retirement of Guidance Enhanced Missile – Tactical interceptors from the U.S. Army’s inventory until the service branch’s secretary submits an assessment of the military’s capacity to meet operational requirements without the interceptors.
Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama), chair of HASC’s strategic forces subcommittee, and ranking member Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee) led the release of the bill Tuesday.