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The Air Force has requested about $6.5 billion for its space investment portfolio in Fiscal 2014, including some $2.7 billion for research, development, test, and evaluation activities and another $3.8 billion for procurement of satellite systems and associated ground assets, service officials told defense reporters on Monday. The top five programs in the space portfolio for Fiscal 2014 are: the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle ($1.9 billion), Space Based Infrared System early warning satellites ($964 million), Global Positioning System III navigation satellites ($699 million), Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellites ($653 million), and space situational awareness systems ($400 million), according to an Air Force budget document. "The Air Force is in a key time right now as we transition several major space programs from research and small-scale production into the core of their production. This is a period where we can and have worked hard to squeeze costs out," said Jamie Morin, Air Force acting undersecretary, during the April 15 briefing. "I think you're seeing a turning around from the environment where year after year the question was how much is the cost growth going to be in the space programs. We're now at the point where we can truly start squeezing the cost down." (See also Air Force Requests $114.1 Billion in Fiscal 2014.)