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Pentagon budget 2022: US DoD trims modernisation

The fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request that the US Department of Defense unveiled on 28 May would reduce funding for equipment modernisation by 1% to USD245.6 billion.

The US Congress will review and modify the Pentagon’s budget request.  (Credit: Getty Images)

The US Congress will review and modify the Pentagon’s budget request. (Credit: Getty Images)

While research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) would grow 5.2% to a record-high USD112 billion, procurement would decline 5.7% to USD133.6 billion, more than offsetting the RDT&E gain.

The DoD said the proposal reflects the pressing need to invest in new technology, such as artificial intelligence, hypersonics, microelectronics, and 5G wireless communications, and represents the “tough choices” it had to make to stay within the relatively flat topline it received from the Biden administration.

The DoD’s overall USD715 billion funding amount, which the administration disclosed last month, is USD11.3 billion or 1.6% over the FY 2021 enacted level, or slightly below the projected inflation rate.

Among the military departments, the army would be hardest hit by the modernisation cut. It would receive USD22.4 billion for procurement, down 9.7%, and USD12.8 billion for RDT&E, down 7.6%

At the navy department, procurement would fall 4.5% to USD58.2 billion, while RDT&E would jump 12.9% to USD22.6 billion. The air force department would receive USD47.2 billion for procurement, down 2.8%, and USD50.5 billion for RDT&E, up 8.2%.

In the defence-wide area, procurement would drop 20.7% to USD5.9 billion, while RDT&E would inch up 0.7% to USD26.1 billion.

Elsewhere in the budget, the DoD would boost operation and maintenance (O&M) funding by 2.5% to USD290.4 billion.

Military personnel funding would rise 3.1% to USD167.3 billion and would include a 2.7% pay hike for military and civilian employees. “We have prioritised growing our talent,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks.

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