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DOD Trims 2025 Budget for Rapid Defense Tech Experiments to $450M

Technology pipeline


DOD Trims 2025 Budget for Rapid Defense Tech Experiments to $450M

The U.S. Department of Defense, which released President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2025 defense budget on Monday, has reduced the allocation for its Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve to $450 million from $687 million in 2024. 

Established in 2021, RDER is a flagship program of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu, a Wash100 Award winner and Potomac Officers Club event speaker. According to a DOD spokesperson, the RDRE budget cut resulted from the mandatory caps under the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, DefenseScoop reported Monday.

The RDER partners directly with the defense industry, service branches, combatant commanders and the Joint Staff toward its goal of accelerating technologies through a development pipeline processing prototypes to proven military capabilities.

At the 2023 McAleese Defense Programs Conference, Shyu justified the 2024 allocation being substantially higher than the 2023 allotment of $359 million by saying that the DOD will need about $300 million to $350 million for every RDER technology “sprint.”

At the recent National Defense Industrial Association Pacific Operational Science and Technology Conference, she explained that the RDER program draws strengths from the feedback loops between combatants and technologists during testing and experimentation. Shyu cited as one of RDRE’s accomplishments the demonstration of a resilient warfighters’ communication system during the inaugural joint Technology Readiness Experimentation 2023 in May.

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Tags: DefenseScoop Heidi Shyu Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve Speaker News technology experiments US Defense