WASHINGTON, D.C. – Led by Chairman Jim Cooper (D-TN) the Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces today released their proposal for the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The Subcommittee will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4, in Rayburn 2118.  The markup will be live streamed on the Committee’s website.  The Subcommittee's mark is available here

Specifically, this year’s proposal:

Nuclear Weapons, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear safety

  • Prohibits funding for the deployment of the W76-2 low-yield ballistic missile warhead.
  • Repeals the requirement for the National Nuclear Administration to demonstrate the capability to produce plutonium pits at a rate of 80 per year for 90 days in 2027.
  • Provides a sense of Congress that the National Nuclear Security Administration should prioritize producing 30 pits per year by 2026 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • Raises the number of full-time equivalent positions the National Nuclear Security Administrator would be able to hire before notifying Congress by 200.
  • Clarifies the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board’s authorities by providing prompt and unfettered access to defense nuclear facilities for independent nuclear oversight. Also establishes a floor for the number of full-time equivalent employees and creates a director of operations for the Board.
  • Clarifies that the Director of the office of Cost Estimating and Program Evaluation reports directly to the NNSA Administrator.
  • Requires a report on the future architecture and plan for NC3.
  • Extends the requirement for Department of Energy certification of shipments of waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
  • Requires reports on:
    • Proposed nuclear sea-launched cruise missile
    • GAO review of implications of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review
    • A nuclear verification plan
    • GAO review of sexual assault and culture in the protective force

Europe and Russia/strategic stability

  • Provides a sense of Congress supporting the Open Skies Treaty, highlighting use of the treaty with a mission flown over Ukraine following an incident of Russian provocation in the Kerch Straight in December 2019.  Further, fences funding for any DoD effort to abandon the treaty without Russia being in material breach and without coordination with US allies. Finally, updates reporting and certification requirements, to facilitate implementation of the Treaty.

National Security Space

  • Requires the Space Development Agency to establish a program to prototype an M-code based, multi-global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver that would incorporate both allied and non-allied, trusted and open GNSS signals to increase the resilience and capability of military positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) equipment and would fence funding until a briefing and report on the implementation plan have been submitted to Congress.
  • Requires the Space Development Agency to procure commercial Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services due to delay and increased cost of AF program of record, and fences funding until these commercial services are procured.
  • Extends annual determination on plan on full integration and exploitation of overhead persistent infrared capability.
  • Requires reports on:
    • Efficient acquisition of COMSATCOM
    • Improving resilience of space architectures

Conventional Prompt Strike

  • Noting a lack of response to an FY19 NDAA requirement to deliver a report on the risks of ambiguity and miscalculation of conventional prompt strike hypersonic weapons, primarily from sub-launched platforms, prohibits the Navy from developing technology that would be unique to sub-launched systems, and requests a report on efforts to deliver CPS capability onboard surface ships. Also notes the demand being placed on hypersonic testing infrastructure and workforce, and requests a report from the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering on efforts to address gaps in those areas.

Missile Defense

  • Updates the national missile defense policy in accordance with the 2019 Missile Defense Review, which states that U.S. homeland missile defense will be targeted against rogue states, and will rely on nuclear deterrence for near-peer adversary ballistic missile threats.
  • Requires an independent assessment of the organization, including Missile Defense Agency alignment under Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) versus USD A&S, and of transitioning MDA to standard DoD acquisition practices. Further requires congressional notification prior to changing Missile Defense Agency (MDA) acquisition authorities and transition of billets to other USD(R&E) organizations. 
  • Directs the Missile Defense Agency to continue work on a sensor payload for tracking ballistic and hypersonic threats from space. Further requires coordination with the Space Development Agency and Air Force on the overall satellite constellation.
  • Enforces previous requirements to “fly-before-you-buy” so that rigorous testing is conducted prior to procuring and delivering the component, increasing the reliability of missile defense interceptor before it is produced and deployed. Further expresses a Sense of Congress that the Director of the Missile Defense Agency must address technical issues discovered during development of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle. 
  • To support congressional oversight of various missile defense programs and to increase MDA and contractor accountability, directs studies, assessments, and/or analysis of alternatives, including:
    • Boost phase intercept, including kinetic and directed energy platforms
    • Contract structure of the Ground Based Midcourse Defense System
    • Cyber security of missile defense programs      
    • Future deployments of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system
    • Allows use of RDT&E funding for critical foundation and thermal control components of the Missile Defense Radar-Hawaii to support delivery of the system within the timeline directed by Congress.
    • Directs the Secretary of Defense to designate a location for a potential future interceptor site in the contiguous United States, but notes the lack of current military requirement for construction of such a site.
    • Fences funding for the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor until the Secretary of the Army provides a report on results of the testing conducted which informed a contract award to deliver prototype radars that would be deployed as initial operational capability by the Congressional mandated 2023 requirement.

Independent Scientific Advisory Group

  • Requires the USD A&S to establish a contract for the long-standing JASON group, and to notify Congress if the contract is terminated, in order to maintain independent scientific advice on nuclear weapons, space and other defense issues.