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Pentagon budget 2024: C4ISR spending levels see overall increase

U.S. Air Force Airmen monitor computers in support of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Onramp 2, Sept 2, 2020 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. (Department of Defense)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking a USD1.7 billion increase in proposed funding for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) accounts for fiscal year (FY) 2024.

The USD14.5 billion requested for C4ISR coffers in FY 2024, compared to the department's USD12.8 billion proposal for those same accounts in FY 2023, and is 15% of DoD's total USD315 billion in the FY 2024 request for major weapons systems ‘modernisation' accounts, according to a summary of the department's budget blueprint released on 13 March. That USD315 billion is part of the department's total USD842 billion request for FY 2024.

The C4ISR budget topline for FY 2024, “is substantially higher than the [previous] amount requested . . . primarily because of increased funding for cyberspace, spectrum, artificial intelligence, 5G [capabilities], and other emerging technologies” deemed critical for current and future operations, according to the 13 March budget documents.

The bulk of the C4SIR budget sought by DoD, or a total of USD9.3 billion, will go toward financing technology development efforts as well as investments in communications and electronic equipment, a Pentagon budget summary stated. Despite the overall increase in requested C4ISR dollars, Pentagon budget officials requested only USD1.4 billion for the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capability for FY 2024.

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