Defence: Biden wants $886 billion defense budget with eyes on Ukraine and future wars

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden’s greatest peacetime in the United States defense The $886 billion budget request includes a 5.2% pay rise for troops and the largest-ever allocation for research and development, with Russia’s war on Ukraine spurring demand for additional spending in ammunition.
Biden’s request calls for $842 billion for the Pentagon and $44 billion for defense-related programs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy, and other agencies. The total amount of the 2024 budget proposal is $28 billion higher than last year’s $858 billion.
Congress has signaled, as it often does, that it will increase defense spending relative to Biden’s request during the months-long budget process that request initiates. The Senate and House typically pass bills setting Pentagon policy and spending levels much later in the year.
Both Congress and the administration have their eye on a possibly protracted war in Ukraine and potential future conflicts with Russia and China.
“Our greatest measure of success, and the one we use most often here, is to make sure that the leaders of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) wake up every day, consider the risks of aggression, and conclude, ‘Today ‘today is not the day,'” US Undersecretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said on Monday.
Relations between the United States and China have become highly contentious on issues ranging from trade to espionage, as the two powers increasingly vie for influence in parts of the world far from their own borders.
“This front-line request is a useful starting point,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, when presenting the budget numbers on Thursday.
This budget will be the first to buy missiles and other munitions with multi-year contracts, which is common for planes and ships, as the Pentagon signals sustained demand from major munitions manufacturers such as Raytheon Technologies Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp and Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.
The war in Ukraine has shown the US military that it needs to manufacture larger batches of certain types of ammunition, which explains the multi-year contracts for weapons that could also be used in a military conflict with China.
Advanced missiles
The budget stimulates the purchase of sophisticated missiles such as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) and the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). They are not land-based munitions, like those used in Ukraine, a senior US defense official said.
So far, funds to fill munitions sent to Ukraine, including the JAVELIN and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), have been managed by $35.7 billion in additional funds signed into law in 2022. Pentagon aid to Ukraine in the budget is the same as the previous year. If more funds are needed for Ukraine, the senior defense official said, another additional request could be drafted.
Budget 2024 features a historically large research and development budget for the Pentagon – $145 billion intended to develop new weapons like hypersonic missiles, which are fired into the upper atmosphere and can evade even advanced radar systems. Russia used these missiles in Ukraine.
Biden’s budget request also quickens the Department of Defense’s pace to purchase the F-35 stealth fighter jet at 83. The F-35 is the Pentagon’s largest weapons program and will be the peg American air power worker in the near future.
The 2023 budget request called for 61 F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin and Congress increased that number to 77.
Among the other major priorities of this budget are the modernization of the American nuclear “triad” made up of ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles, shipbuilding and the development of capabilities in space.
The budget would benefit America’s biggest defense contractors, including Lockheed, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman Corp and General Dynamics Corp.
Part of this investment is being funded by requesting the retirement of equipment such as two of the Navy’s oldest Littoral combat ships, 32 of the Air Force’s non-combat-ready F-22 Raptor jet fighters, and 42 former A-10 Warthogs, from which the United States withdrew. Afghanistan last year made itself less essential because it is vulnerable to more sophisticated enemies.


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