skip to main content

US lawmakers want details on civilian ISR, space-based combat capabilities

L3Harris Technologies completed the first flight of the US Army Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) aircraft – that will help modernise and enhance the army's ISR capabilities – on 27 August 2021 in Melbourne, Florida. (L3Harris)

US congressional lawmakers are calling upon the US Army and the Pentagon to provide details on how they plan to close mission gaps in high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, as well as develop a new artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled battlefield sensor management system.

Members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense requested US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth to provide details on how the ground service will continue to provide “contractor-owned, contractor-operated” high-altitude ISR capabilities at the US European Command (EUCOM) and the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM).

In addition, subcommittee members are demanding a service-led evaluation to identify “the army's gap in ISR capabilities, including for high-[altitude] initiatives”, according to the subcommittee report accompanying the fiscal year (FY) 2023 defence appropriations bill.

US House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement on 20 December 2022 on an FY 2023 omnibus appropriations bill, which provided USD816.7 billion for the US Department of Defense (DoD), representing a 10% increase above FY 2022 levels, equalling USD73.4 billion.

The House Subcommittee on Defense “appreciates that the army has successfully augmented current service capabilities with contractor-owned, contractor-operated platforms to meet mission requirements”, members wrote in the report. The use of civilian-owned and civilian-operated high-altitude ISR systems has allowed service leaders “to fulfil ISR requirements in areas of operation, which are of high value and national interest, such as Ukraine, and [those] not inherently governmental”, lawmakers added.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...