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Pentagon budget 2024: US DoD seeks USD315 billion to modernise equipment

The US Department of Defense wants to make multiyear procurements of several kinds of missiles, including the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). (Lockheed Martin)

The US Department of Defense's (DoD's) newly unveiled fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request includes USD315 billion for procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) – its largest sum ever for equipment modernisation.

According to budget documents released on 13 March, procurement would receive USD170 billion, up 3.8% from the FY 2023 enacted level. It would include USD61.1 billion for various aircraft, including 83 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs and 24 Boeing F-15E/Xs; USD48.1 billion for sea systems, including new construction of nine ships; and USD13.9 billion for land systems.

RDT&E would get USD145 billion, up 4% from the FY 2023 enacted level. It would include USD17.8 billion for science and technology; USD1.8 billion for artificial intelligence; USD1.4 billion for joint all-domain command and control (JADC2); USD687 million for the rapid defence experimentation reserve; and USD115 million for the new Office of Strategic Capital (OSC), which would offer loans and loan guarantees to encourage private capital providers to back technology start-ups.

The budget contains USD30.6 billion for munitions, up nearly 12% from the FY 2023 enacted level. It includes USD17.3 billion for tactical missiles, USD7.3 billion for strategic missiles, USD5.6 billion for ammunition, and USD600 million for technology development.

“Compared to [the DoD's] budget request from just five years ago, we're putting nearly 50% more money into munitions,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said at a Pentagon press briefing. “We are buying to the limits of the industrial base, even as we are expanding those limits.”

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