Defense authorization bill clears Hill hurdles

Congress this month sent President Bush a fiscal 2004 Defense authorization bill that sets instructions for several major military technology projects and emphasizes transforming the military.

Although Bush in September signed a Defense Department appropriations bill for 2004, the 1,200-page authorization bill includes lawmakers' recommendations for $401.3 billion in DOD funding.

For some IT efforts, the bill makes specific demands on DOD:
  • Joint Tactical Radio System: DOD must establish a plan for the development of JTRS under a single program office and submit plans to Congress by Jan. 1. The plans must be implemented no later than Oct. 1.

  • Future Combat Systems: Congress limited spending to $170 million for developing networked weapons and vehicles until lawmakers receive an independent review of FCS and a milestone review by the Defense Acquisition Board.

  • Network-centric communications: DOD must develop a high-speed, high-bandwidth comm system for military operations. The department must identify areas for advanced wireless communications, develop a plan for improved spectrum use, and implement robust security and encryption.

  • Blue Force Tracking: DOD and the Joint Forces Command must report on joint experiments to evaluate technologies to identify friendly and enemy troops on the battlefield.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above