2022 NDAA Includes Big Army Advances

2022 NDAA Includes Big Army Advances

US Capitol
Photo by: Martin Falbiosner

Better late than never, Congress is moving to pass the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, an annual policy measure that is important to Army transformation efforts. 

The House of Representatives passed its version of the $740 billion bill on Sept. 23 by a 316-113 vote, but the Senate is still working on its version. 

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a 1971 graduate of the U.S Military Academy at West Point, New York, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the legislation is very important to the Army’s future. 

The Senate version “advances research and development in important future technologies, makes broad investments in generational Army modernization efforts, and continues to upgrade significant enduring capabilities,” he said Nov. 18 as debate on the measure began. 

“Our bill focuses on filling critical deficiencies and increasing investments in rapidly evolving domains. Further, it funds rapid development and fielding of land-based long-range fires, including the Precision Strike Missile, Medium-Range Capability, and Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon,” he said. 

Also included is “funding for Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft,” plus it increases funding for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System and authorizes full funding for AH–64 Apache attack helicopters and UH–60 Black Hawk utility helicopters. 

Reed said it also “fully supports” Army plans for modernizing ground combat systems including modernizing the M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Paladin self-propelled howitzers and Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. 

If the Senate passes the bill, House and Senate negotiators must reconcile hundreds of differences before a final vote sends the measure to the White House.