The Pentagon has asked the U.S. Congress for the OK to shift more than $920 million for numerous intelligence efforts, including many military drone programs, according to Defense Department budget documents.
The funding transfer request comes in addition to the more than $5 billion in transfers DoD has asked Congress to approve in its annual omnibus reprogramming action. Both documents were signed June 30 by Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale.
The 26-page request focuses on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) programs, which are mostly used by special operations forces (SOF). The vast majority of initiatives listed in the document concern unmanned aircraft programs, including the Army's Extended Range Multi Purpose (ERMP) drone and Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk.
The four primary defense oversight committees in Congress must sign off on the shifting of funds.
The Pentagon wants to move $6 million to procure and install a Fire Scout ground control system on a ship that will deploy in support of special operations forces. U.S. Special Operations Command wants to use MQ-8B Fire Scouts -small unmanned helicopters - to support deployments, according to the document.
In addition, DoD wants to shift $32.6 million to support procurement of radar units for nine Fire Scouts. The systems will give the MQ-8B a wide area surface search capability.
Another $1 million would be used to "develop and integrate an upgrade" Fire Scout and its control system.
"This upgrade extends the Fire Scout's combat radius, increases its payload, and improves on-station endurance to meet the urgent SOF maritime ISR requirements outlined," the document states.
The reprogramming also seeks a $28 million transfer for 60 Scan Eagle drones.
DoD wants to shift $89.3 million to install the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) - a system that allows different types of radios and data links to communicate with each other - on two additional RQ-4 Global Hawks.
The Air Force currently flies the BACN system on three BD-700 Global Express jets and two Global Hawks.
Another $16.2 million is sought to beef up the ERMP drone with "additional capability" for classified programs. A separate $2.8 million is wanted for classified intelligence processing initiatives.
Funds are desired to complete development of a "Wide Area Focal Array Camera" sensor for the Marine Corps RQ-7 unmanned system.
The Air Force is also seeking a $44.9 million transfer for MC-12 Liberty aircraft-related upgrades, including full-motion video modems, cockpit upgrades, data links, intelligence processing equipment and a remote-control cytological operator position.