FY 2016 Appropriations: Defense Science and Technology Budget Grows 8.2%

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Publication date: 
21 December 2015

The annual spending law for FY 2016 increases spending for Department of Defense Science and Technology by 8.2 percent over FY 2015 levels

On Dec. 18, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the final FY 2016 annual spending bill. As FYI reported last Wednesday, the law appropriates $1.15 trillion in discretionary spending obligations and finalizes funding levels for the nation’s major science agencies, offices and programs through the end of September 2016, including for Department of Defense Science and Technology (DOD S&T).

Congress’ guidance for DOD S&T spending can be found on pages 72A-78A of the law’s joint explanatory statement. Most of the annual policy guidance Congress gives the DOD comes in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annually-passed law intended to complement DOD appropriations. As FYI reported, Congress passed and President Obama signed the FY 2016 NDAA into law earlier this month, and it includes a number of provisions supporting science.


Department / Account FY14 enacted FY15 enacted FY16 President's request FY16 enacted Change between FY15 and FY16
Department of Defense          
Research, Development, Test and Evaluation 63,457.8 64,006.5 69,976.4 70,016.1 9.4%
Science & Technology 12,008.6 12,252.0 12,266.6 13,250.7 8.2%
Basic Research (6.1) 2,166.6 2,277.8 2,088.9 2,309.3 1.4%
Applied Research (6.2) 4,641.2 4,647.8 4,713.2 5,004.0 7.7%
Advanced Technology Development (6.3) 5,200.8 5,326.4 5,464.4 5,937.4 11.5%
* Figures in millions of U.S dollars


In basic research highlights for DOD S&T, the guidance for the FY 2016 spending law: 
As the table above shows, DOD S&T is receiving an 8.2 percent increase in total spending between FY 2015 and FY 2016. Within that amount, DOD Basic Research is receiving a 1.4 percent increase, DOD Applied Research a 7.7 percent increase, and Advanced Technology Development an 11.5 percent increase. The 8.2 percent increase for DOD S&T exceeds the 5.2 percent increase in overall federal discretionary spending in FY 2016, an indication it is being favored in the budget process this year.

  • Provides the Army $13.0 million and the Navy $146.2 million, for a total of $159.2 million, for in-house laboratory independent research;
  • Provides the Army $279.1 million, the Navy $506.6 million, the Air Force $374.7 million, with $333.1 million defense-wide, for a total of $1.494 billion, for defense research sciences;
  • Provides the Army $72.6 million, the Navy $146.2 million, and the Air Force $141.8 million, for a total of $360.6 million, for university research initiatives;
  • Provides the Army $104.3 million for university and industry research centers;
  • Provides the Air Force $13.8 million for high energy laser research initiatives;
  • Provides $38.4 million for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency University Strategic Partnership;
  • Provides $72.0 million for basic research initiatives;
  • Provides $58.5 million for basic operational medical research science;
  • Provides $54.5 million for the National Defense Education Program; and
  • Provides $47.8 million for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program.