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Lawmakers poised to approve funding for 485,000 US Army active-duty soldiers

Congressional appropriators have hashed out the terms of a fiscal year (FY) 2022 omnibus spending bill that provides USD728.5 billion in discretionary defence spending this year, while also cutting 900 active-duty soldiers from the US Army's end-strength request.

Lawmakers released initial details about the compromise bill on 9 March, more than five months into FY 2022, and as of 10 March the House had approved the measure and it is now up to the Senate to also approve the bill before sending it to the White House for President Joe Biden's signature. If this bill is ultimately enshrined into law, the army would receive funds for 485,000 active-duty soldiers, 189,500 reserve soldiers, and 336,000 members of the national guard.

Congress also wants to provide the service with USD14.5 billion for research and development (R&D) this year to include USD188 million to continue Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) development, USD315 million for the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon programme, and USD286 million for its Mobile Medium Range Missile, also dubbed the mid-range capability. The measure also includes USD521 million for the army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (USD77.5 million more than requested).

Lawmakers nearly doubled the service's request for next-generation combat vehicle ‘advanced technology' development when they provided this line with USD300 million. One army hypersonic weapons R&D pot also includes USD315 million, while a ‘hypersonics' engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) line is funded with USD111 million.

The army is poised to receive USD22.8 billion for its procurement accounts to include USD3.3 billion for aircraft, USD3.5 billion for missiles, USD4.3 billion for weapons and tracked combat vehicles, USD2.8 billion for ammunition, and USD9.4 billion for programmes marked ‘other'.

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