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Pentagon budget 2024: DoD funds Leader, Manpack radio procurement, tactical network funds remain static

A forward observer with C Company, 1-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division (Air Assault) uses AN/PRC 148 2-channel Leader Radio to transmit position location obtained from the Android Tactical Assault Kit during a live-fire exercise at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in January 2019. (US Army )

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has called for a funding increase for the two-channel Leader Radio (LR) and the Manpackable (MP) variant of the Single-Channel Data Radio (SCDR), however, largely left coffers funding tactical network technology (TNT) development remain static, according to the department's fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget proposal.

The Pentagon's total request for USD769.4 million to procure LR and MP/SCDRs for five US Army brigade combat teams (BCTs) in FY 2024 is USD104.7 million above the department's FY 2023 request of USD664.7 million for those programmes, according to budget documents released on 13 March. Within that USD769.4 million request, USD765 will be set aside for the procurement effort, while the remaining USD4.3 million will finance ongoing research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) efforts already under way, the documents stated.

The USD769.4 million total request for those radio platforms was part of the DoD's total USD315 billion FY 2024 request for major weapons systems, according to the summary of the department's overall budget blueprint released on 13 March. That USD315 billion is part of the department's total FY 2024 request of USD842 billion – which is USD10 billion less than the total Pentagon funding requested for FY 2023.

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