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Scoping Aerospace: Tracking Federal Procurement and R&D Spending in the Aerospace Sector

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Technical rept.

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This report assesses the scope of external federal spending within the aerospace industry. The study provides a detailed examination of the Federal Procurement Data System FPDS, with the specific purpose of tracking all government aerospace procurement and research and development RD expenditures from 1993 to 2003. The resulting data are used to analyze trends in government aerospace spending during the past decade. The studys findings will be of greatest interest to analysts and scholars who seek to understand changes in government aerospace spending in the post Cold War era. It should also help policy makers better understand recent trends that have led to the decline in external aerospace expenditures. The study revealed a clear downward trend in federal aerospace procurement and RD expenditures during the past decade. The analysis suggests that this decline was felt in each of the primary aerospace sectors air systems, missile systems, and space systems. Overall, air system spending fell 35 percent and missile system spending fell 50 percent. Space system expenditures dropped by a somewhat lower amount 10 percent. The authors found some evidence that this trend may be reversing itself -- specifically, a large increase in Department of Defense DoD spending in 2003. This was most likely caused by a change in presidential administrations and regular military procurement cycles particularly with relation to air systems however, the turnaround did not become evident until 2003 because of a typical lag between budgeting and actual spending. The findings regarding the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA are only slightly more favorable. The agency has seen a 35 percent decline in its external spending during the past decade. It has been able to maintain its level of space system expenditures during this period, but many other areas have suffered.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Astronautics

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