- June 16, 2023
- Posted by: LSN Partners
- Categories: Federal, Global Projects, Government Affairs
By: LSN Partners on June 16, 2023
On Wednesday, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) began to mark up the seven portions of the fiscal year 2024 (FY 2024) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill constitutes a 3.6% increase in defense expenditures from last year (excluding military construction and nuclear weapons allocations).
The HASC Strategic Forces Subcommittee markup was the first to advance this week and has jurisdiction over nuclear weapons, space programs, and ballistic missile defense. The subcommittee moved to hasten the development of hypersonic capabilities, including developing a glide phase interceptor for hypersonic defense. The Space-related provisions focus on establishing an expanded threat-sharing arrangement with commercial space operators who contract with the Department of Defense (DOD).
The Subcommittee on Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation’s portion of the legislation includes many innovation-centric measures, such as redefining the office of the Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer to elevate the small-budget tech incubator program. The subcommittee also took steps to address the shortfalls in the cyber workforce by funding efforts to recruit and retain cybersecurity specialists.
The Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee focused its portion of the NDAA markup on modernizing efforts aimed at aging combat systems. The provisions in the bill allow the Air Force to retire a piece of its dated A-10 ground attack aircraft and begin developing crewless collaborative combat aircraft.
Finally, supply chain issues were at the forefront of the Subcommittee for Readiness’ portion of the NDAA markup. The text would require a review of the Defense Department’s requirements for identifying, tracking, and stockpiling critical minerals and metals. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have repeatedly questioned whether the U.S. military supply chain is too dependent on China, particularly with essential minerals needed for specific defense capabilities.
The current schedule is for The House bills to have a full committee markup on June 21st. Before that, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) will begin its markup process next week.