Home Americas Pentagon’s new budget hikes munitions buys by $6 billion

Pentagon’s new budget hikes munitions buys by $6 billion

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Airmen transport a AGM-158 munition to be loaded onto a B-52H Stratofortress bomber. US Air Force file photo

The new fiscal year 2024 budget for the US Defense Department has earmarked $30.6 billion for munitions, an increase of $5.8 billion above last year’s request.

The increase reflects the growing sentiment about the stockpiles of both the United States and other allies in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Pentagon, this budget leverages unprecedented use of multi-year procurement (MYP) authorities provided by Congress “to deliver critical munitions affordably, while bolstering inventories and providing a more predictable demand signal to the industry.”

This strategy is expected to facilitate industrial production efficiencies because the industry would be incentivized to organize in a more cost-effective manner, the Pentagon said.

Multi-year procurements in the FY 2024 budget request will include Naval Strike Missiles, RIM-174 Standard Missile, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, and the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range.

The Biden-Harris Administration submitted the proposed budget to Congress on March 9, earmarking a total of $842 billion for the Pentagon, an increase of $26 billion over FY 2023 levels and $100 billion more than FY 2022.

“The FY 2024 budget is the most strategy-driven request we’ve ever produced from the Department of Defense. And as our National Defense Strategy makes clear, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is our pacing challenge. This budget seeks to meet this critical challenge today, tomorrow, and into the future by providing the resources today to continue to implement our National Defense Strategy and keep our nation safe while delivering a combat credible Joint Force that is the most lethal, resilient, agile, and responsive in the world,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said.

According to Austin, the FY 2024 budget will allow the DoD to invest in capabilities that will ensure it maintains a ready, lethal, and combat-credible joint force with a laser focus on China as the department’s pacing challenge and addressing the acute threat posed by Russia.

The budget makes investments to revitalize the defense industrial base, drive innovation, and take care of the force.

The FY 2024 budget request includes a record investment in research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) of $145 billion. This budget also funds $170 billion for procurement, the largest in history. These investments are expected to ensure combat-credible forces across all domains.

Secretary Austin has called deterrence the “cornerstone of defense.” In FY 2024, the DoD supports the concept of integrated deterrence by ensuring combat-credible forces and a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent.

Investments across all domains include $61.1 billion for air power to continue developing, modernizing, and procuring lethal air forces, including a focus on fighters, including F-22, F-35, F-15EX; the B-21 bomber, mobility aircraft, including KC-46A; specialized support aircraft; and unmanned aircraft systems.

A total of $48.1 billion is earmarked for sea power including new construction of nine battle force fleet ships and continued funding for the incremental construction of Ford class nuclear powered aircraft carriers and Columbia ballistic missile submarines.

$13.9 billion for land power will support the modernization of Army and Marine Corps combat equipment, including Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles, Amphibious Combat Vehicles, and Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicles.

Another $37.7 billion will be used for Nuclear Enterprise Modernization, including the continued development and procurement of the B-21 program at $5.3 billion, and the production of the second Columbia ballistic missile submarine for $6.2 billion. First year advance procurement funding for the LGM-35A Sentinel program is also included.

Missile Defeat and Defense investment will come at $29.8 billion and will include the development of the Next Generation Interceptor for Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, and extending the service life of the current interceptor fleet.

Increased investments are also planned in regional missile defense network with Patriot missiles, a Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, additional short-range air defense battalions, and hypersonic weaponry and defenses.

$1.5 billion will be invested in the defense of Guam against the missile threat from China, while $11.0 billion are bound to deliver a mix of precision weapons including extensive hypersonic prototyping efforts. A total of 24 hypersonic missiles are planned for procurement.

“The FY 2024 budget will help position the department to best support its people and allies through this “decisive decade” and ensure the United States is prepared to meet the challenges of today, tomorrow and into the future,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

The entire budget proposal is available here