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Pentagon budget 2022: DoD doubles down on microelectronics

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is doubling down its investments toward development and integration of advanced microelectronics systems, programmes and platforms within the US armed forces. That investment announced as part of the Pentagon’s USD752.9 billion overall budget request for fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022).

Department officials are convinced that establishing and maintaining a US advantage in the field of microelectronics, for both military and civilian use, will pave the way for the Pentagon to continue its pursuit of “advanced capability enablers” that run the gamut from advanced weaponry to next generation command, control and communication systems, according to the department’s FY 2022 proposal.

Service leaders are so convinced of the need to accelerate microelectronics research and development work in the US armed forces, Pentagon leaders set aside USD2.3 billion of the department’s entire USD14.7 billion science and technology (S&T) budget request specifically for that work, FY 2022 budget documents stated. Establishing the Pentagon as a leader in microelectronics development “will provide the foundation for fielding a full range of needed capabilities, such as hypersonic missiles, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G” mobile networking capabilities, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said during a 28 May briefing on the FY 2022 spending proposal at the Pentagon.

Pentagon officials requested USD1.5 billion for R&D work in its microelectronics sector in FY 2021, which were used to finance “Artificial Intelligence-pacing technology” and to hasten the adoption of “ubiquitous connectivity” – a burgeoning capability designed to push more data through bandwidth channels expanded by 5G technologies, the department’s FY 2021 budget documents previously stated.

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