One of the biggest stories to come blasting out of the defense budget, which will be released next week, could be the increases in Defense Department spending on space and rocket programs, The Wall Street Journal reported.
That’s because despite the uncertain economic climate and the vigilance of deficit hawks, the Pentagon is actually expected to increase space-technology spending by buying in bulk in the upcoming year.
WSJ reports Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other department leaders hope that by buying satellites and rockets in higher volumes, rather than one at a time (as DoD has historically done) the department will actually save money over the long haul.
The benefits are three-fold: It allows for more streamlined payments to subcontractors, keeps a stable of necessary equipment at the ready and heads off production-line delays and bottlenecks.
DoD’s acquisition chief Ashton Carter told WSJ the new purchasing plan could help end the inefficient “boom-and-bust” cycles that often plague defense space companies.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin, two government-contracting firms that provide the Air Force with rockets, would also stand to gain from the purchasing changes.
But because the increased spending will be especially magnified in the first couple years, observers predict Congress, with its eye on trimming back across government, might draw the line.