US continues to increase spending on classified programmes
By Bill Sweetman IDR Technology and Aerospace Editor
Increases in the classified or 'black' portion of the Pentagon budget continue in Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07), with some allocations steady and others spectacular.
For example, the navy effort known as Chalk Eagle has jumped from USD46 million to USD139 million between FY05 and FY07. The Retract Maple programme has risen by USD41 million in a single year and now stands at USD344 million - bigger than the V-22 or unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) R&D programmes. Both Chalk Eagle and Retract Maple are listed as "advanced component development and prototypes".
Under "advanced technology development" in the US Air Force (USAF) R&D budget is the Special Programs line item 0603801F. This gets a USD40 million boost to USD316 million in FY07 and is now three times its FY03 value. Listed as "operational systems development" are three programmes that add up to USD1.28 billion. Funding listed under Special Evaluation Program - a veteran of the classified world, descended from a line item that covered the F-117 in its black-world days - is nearly doubled in FY07 compared to the previous year to USD530 million. Advanced Program Evaluation (formerly Omega) is USD437 million - more than twice what it was in 1999. The Evaluation & Analysis Program has risen slightly, to USD313 million.