FY 2020 Army R&D and Procurement Investment in Cybersecurity

Published: April 10, 2019

Federal Market AnalysisARMYBudgetCybersecurityForecasts and SpendingInformation Technology

Army’s R&D and Procurement budgets for cyber-related investments are down.

Analysis of the Army’s Research, Development, Test, and Enhancement (RDT&E) and Procurement budget requests for FY 2020 reveals a total of more than $886M that the department plans to spend on programs related to cybersecurity or warfare. The U.S. Army’s request is down 3.8% from the $921M that the Army estimates it budgeted for FY 2019. Despite the decline some programs are new starts, with cyber making up a significant percentage of the work.

Army’s FY 2018-2020 Cyber R&D Budget

Surprisingly, the Army’s pending investment in technology related to improving its cyber posture is declining. Whereas the Service requested close to $900M in FY 2018 and $921M in FY 2019, FY 2020’s request is the lowest it has been in the last three years. There are two potential explanations for this trend. The first is that Army leadership feels more comfortable reducing its FY 2020 investment due to gains in improving cyber posture made the previous two fiscal years. The second explanation is that as a result of previous investments the Army re-programmed a significant percentage of its cyber budget to its Operations and Maintenance account. To wit, the Cyberspace Activities line of Army’s FY 2020 O&M total is new this year and it totals $1.1B.

Army’s Top 5 Largest Cyber-Related Programs by Budget

Many of the Army’s cyber programs make use of advanced analytics. Others leverage emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Still others combine cyber capabilities with electronic warfare efforts. Here are the five largest programs by requested budgets. Summaries of their basic requirements are below.

Communications Security (COMSEC): This Procurement program supports the Army's Network Modernization Strategy, which calls for the development of a Unified Tactical Network that is "Protected, Resilient, Survivable." COMSEC supports the procurement, fielding, depot support, and new equipment training for Army Key Management Clients, Next Generation Load Devices, and Automated Communications Engineering Software laptops. It also funds associated government and contractor engineering support, Post Production Deployment Software Support, and system technical and software support.

Electronic Warfare Development: This R&D program provides engineering and manufacturing development for Army tactical electronic warfare. FY 2020 funding supports further development of the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPMT), a software solution that provides Army commanders and Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) working groups the ability to control, manage, and dominate the electromagnetic spectrum in contested and congested environments.

Common Operating Environment Tactical Server Infrastructure: The COE TSI provides commercial-off-the-shelf hardware to host capabilities such as the command post software infrastructure, movement and maneuver applications, and tactical Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) infrastructure tools, and warfighting applications.

Defensive Cyber Tool Development: This project incorporates cyber capabilities that support the employment of the Army network as a weapon system. FY 2020 funding develops engineering and architecture products, as well as the middleware and back-end services required to establish an integration environment. FY 2020 also supports software procurement and the prototyping of candidate GOTS/COTS products.

Defensive Cyber Operations: This line item funds Army Cyber Command Rapid Cyber Prototyping efforts and procures cyber capabilities identified by Army Cyber Mission Forces to counter advanced, persistent, and sophisticated cyber threats. Capabilities to be procured include: emerging threat detection, advanced sensors, change detection, and advanced supervisory control and data acquisition.

Lastly, the Army also projects its R&D and Procurement cyber spending in the out-years will fall to an average of $668M per year.