Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall is asking Congress for authority to approve new spending on design engineering, which he said “would buy us at least a year, year and a half or two years in terms of lead time,” according to Defense One.

Newly designed technology purchases would still need to be funded through appropriations or previously allocated funds, Kendall said this week during the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But he’s worried about how a divided Congress could hold up new weapon programs and has asked Congress to let the service start developing new systems outside the annual budget progress.

“The problem that I have is the amount of time I have to wait for the Congress to act on the things that we want to do,” Kendall said.

Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich