LOSING TIME: Space-Based Missile Warning
“Every day we live under a continuing resolution is a day we do damage to our military.” - Mac Thornberry, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
The Space-Based Infrared Warning System (SBIRS), a constellation of satellites run by the Air Force, is a pillar of our Nation’s ability to gather intelligence on, identify, and track missile launches around the globe. The fact that North Korea has launched over 20 missiles this year in addition to the increasingly sophisticated Iranian missile program highlights how important these satellites are to our overall missile defense system. Although operational, we have yet to procure all of the planned satellites for the SBIRS system and complete the constellation.
WHAT WE ARE DOING TODAY:
At the current funding levels under the CR, the SBIRS program is under-funded by nearly a billion dollars and we risk a delay in the acquisition of the next two satellites. A portion of the program associated with ground modernization efforts remains entirely unfunded, as it is a new-start program for 2018, and under the CR, no new-start programs receive funding.
WHAT WE COULD BE DOING:
The House-Passed NDAA fully funds the SBIRS program and provides an additional $75 milllion above the President’s budget request to address emerging cyber threats and antenna upgrades that were included within the Air Force’s unfunded priorities list.