Speaker News

Pentagon Eyes $1B Budget for Replicator Program Over Two Years

Kathleen Hicks,

Deputy Secretary,

Department of Defense

Pentagon Eyes $1B Budget for Replicator Program Over Two Years

The Department of Defense’s deputy secretary said the DOD plans to spend around $1 billion on its Replicator program for the fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

Kathleen Hicks, a 2024 Wash100 awardee and a past Potomac Officers Club speaker, said the DOD wants to spend around $500 million each fiscal year to reduce technological barriers and secure new autonomous systems that can help warfighters combat China’s military buildup. Hicks shared that as the Pentagon attempts to secure funding and lower tech barriers, the services must identify novel use cases for autonomy solutions and be ready once resources are available.

DOD Comptroller Michael McCord said the DOD will work with Congress to secure funding and potentially avoid reprogramming, DefenseScoop reported Monday.

The funding plan comes months after Aditi Kumar, the deputy director of strategy, policy and national security partnerships at the Defense Innovation Unit, said the Replicator program will deploy thousands of unmanned systems by early 2025. According to Kumar, the DIU is identifying ways to speed up Replicator deployment after Hicks selected the first tranche of unmanned systems.

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Category: Speaker News