The recently-published H.R. 2670 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 from the US House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces has requested the Comptroller General to deliver a report to the committee by the start of March 2024 on the state of the Department of the Army’s air and missile defence programmes, including C-UAS capabilities.
According to the Act:
“Critical to the Army’s vision for future warfare is the ability to protect its combat formations from modern and advanced air- and missile-delivered fires, including drones. Events in the current conflict in Ukraine underscore the need for such capabilities. Providing these capabilities could be challenging as the Army has not focused on the need for air and missile defense in its recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given the emerging tactics of near-peer competitors, however, it is vital that the Army secure these capabilities or risk failing in any future conflict.
“Therefore, the committee directs the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not later than March 1, 2024, on the Department of the Army’s air and missile defense program.
At a minimum, the report should address the following elements:
(1) systems or technologies the Army seeks in the near, mid, and long term to improve air and missile defense;
(2) analyses the Army has performed to determine these needs, to include an assessment of the joint force;
(3) to what extent the Army has applied leading practices for acquisitions in air and missile defense programs;
(4) to what extent lessons learned from the Ukrainian conflict have been incorporated into the air and missile defense portfolio; and
(5) how the Army has positioned itself with research and development resources, in terms of both funding and personnel, to develop these technologies.
“The markup included various Counter-UAS (C-UAS) or Counter-Drone topics of interest to the subcommittee, including air and missile defense; counter-unmanned aircraft system transition and fielding; passive radar for air defense and counter-unmanned aircraft systems; and air-based air defense.”