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US lawmakers reach deal on Ukraine aid, FY 2022 defence funding

The US Capitol building in Washington, DC. (Marc Selinger/Janes)

US congressional negotiators have agreed on a funding bill that contains USD782 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2022 defence programmes, up 5.6% from FY 2021, and USD13.6 billion in Ukraine-related security, humanitarian, and economic assistance.

“This compromise legislation will enable us to invest in military modernisation to keep pace with Russia and China and urgently deliver the emergency aid that the brave people of Ukraine desperately need,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.

The bill, which was released publicly on 9 March, would give the US Department of Defense (DoD) USD144.9 billion for procurement, which is USD12.4 billion more than the Biden administration's request and USD8.4 billion more than the FY 2021 enacted level.

While fully funding the request for 85 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters, 14 Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers, and 12 Boeing F-15EX fighters, the legislation adds 20 Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport planes, four Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and two Lockheed Martin CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters to the request. It also adds money for shipbuilding and several ground vehicle programmes.

The bill would give the DoD USD119.2 billion for research and development, which is USD7.2 billion more than the request, and USD256.3 billion for operation and maintenance, which is USD2.6 billion more than the request.

The defence funding is part of a broader USD1.5 trillion “omnibus” government funding bill for FY 2022, almost half of which is for non-defence programmes. The Ukraine aid, which is attached, includes USD3 billion to support US troop deployments in Eastern Europe and USD3.5 billion to replenish US stocks of equipment sent to Ukraine.

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