Issue Brief: Fiscal Year 2023 Space Force Budget Analysis: Missile Warning and Tracking Looms Large

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This year’s budget request includes a 36 percent increase for the U.S. Space Force from last year’s appropriations. Despite this significant bump, much of the requested budget for the newest military service is relatively flat. The dramatic growth in missile warning and tracking has allowed the administration to pursue a new approach for the mission, including exploiting lower orbits. However, as reflected in recent congressional bills, there is not yet consensus on how DOD should transition to this new approach. Over the next few years, the missile warning and tracking programs—given their size and the number of stakeholders reliant on them—will weigh heavily in debates about the future of U.S. space systems.