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CRS: DoD’s R&D, Test & Evaluation Appropriations Hit $65.5B in Fiscal 2015

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A Congressional Research Service report obtained by the Federation of American Scientists shows that the Defense Department’s research, development, testing and evaluation appropriations reached $65.5 billion in fiscal year 2015, which accounted for 48.2 percent of $135.8 billion in total federal R&D appropriations for that year.

Steven Aftergood wrote in a blog post published Dec. 19 that DoD’s R&D budget in the previous fiscal year is more than double that of the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the CRS report, over 95 percent of the Pentagon’s total RDT&E funds go to the annual defense appropriations bill’s Title IV that includes appropriations for the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, director of operational test and evaluation and a defense-wide RDT&E account.

The National Defense Sealift Fund receives RDT&E appropriations under the act’s Title V, while the Defense Health Program and Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction Program get RDT&E funds through the bill’s Title VI.

The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Fund does not have an RDT&E line item but some of the funds allocated to JIDF are used to support RDT&E work, the report said.

CRS said some overseas contingency funds have been set aside for the Iraqi Freedom Fund, Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund, Afghanistan Security Forces Fund and other transfer funds that can be used to carry out RDT&E functions, subject to certain restrictions.

The report also noted that the Pentagon reports RDT&E funds to the National Science Foundation and the Office of Management and Budget through the use of crosswalks aligned with OMB’s and NSF’s federal R&D taxonomies.

DoD assigned code numbers 6.1 through 6.7 for seven RDT&E budget activity categories, the report added.

The categories include:

  • basic research
  • applied research
  • advanced technology development
  • advanced component development and prototypes
  • systems development and demonstration
  • RDT&E management support
  • operational system development

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