Jeffrey LewisMDA R2s Hung Up

Bear with me for a minute.

Go to the DOD Comptroller’s FY 2006 PBR website, click “Defense_Wide Budget Documentation” and mouse over “RDT&E.”

You are now looking at the detailed summaries (R2s if you know the lingo) from the President’s Budget Request (and you thought PBR only referred to a watery domestic).

These summaries contain detailed budget data (remember, they are called detailed summaries) for each “program element” (which is like a line item) in the defense budget, organized by agency.

They look like this:

Every DOD Agency is represented: DARPA, DTRA, MDA … wait … MDA is missing.

Isn’t that odd.

The RUMINT is that the MDA R2s are hung up at OMB. No one knows why. Perhaps someone in the White House doesn’t like Trey Obering’s decision to make the Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) program take the brunt of the $5 billion cut to missile defense outlined in PBD 753.

Now, I see that Inside Defense picked up a comment by Obering that MDA would conduct a “flyoff of sorts” between the Airborne Laser and the KEI program sometime in 2008.

“It’s not a direct flyoff,” Obering added, but the goal is “to try to build as many options as we can so we can make decisions based on the results we achieve downstream.”

I don’t have a conclusive answer to why the R2s are hung up or whether the White House is pushing back on the KEI cuts. Just a little inside baseball on a Thursday afternoon.