Trump’s Pentagon budget strengthens nuclear weapons and weapons research

© Reuters. Trump‘s Pentagon budget strengthens nuclear weapons and weapons research

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s $ 740.5 billion defense budget request sent to Congress on Monday includes more money for nuclear weapons and a big boost to research and development spending to prepare for a future war.

The defense spending request contains the Pentagon’s largest research and development budget in 70 years, a senior defense official said, as the military aims to build next-generation capabilities to counter the growing strength of China and Russia.

Within the Pentagon’s competing priorities, the request for funds for nuclear weapons modernization increased 18% compared to last year or an additional $ 29 billion, said a second senior defense official. Fully modernizing the US nuclear triad will cost more than a trillion dollars in 30 years, according to cost-1- 2-trillion-in-the-next-30-years-cbo-idUSKBN1D030E to the Congressional Budget Office.

Funding will go towards better nuclear command and control, as well as delivery platforms such as the Columbia Class nuclear submarine manufactured by Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics (NYSE 🙂 and certification to carry nuclear bombs aboard the stealth jet fighter. F-35 manufactured by Lockheed Martin (NYSE 🙂 Co.

The Pentagon’s budget request includes $ 69 billion to fund ongoing wars and other Pentagon needs. Allocating funds in this way helps the Department of Defense avoid budget limits approved by Congress.

The US Navy’s budget decreased by 1%, or $ 1.9 billion, to $ 207 billion and the Air Force had a slightly higher budget as the Trump administration increased the number of ship orders Refueling tank KC-46 to 15, from 12. The Boeing (NYSE 🙂 Co program has been affected by cost overruns and problems with the construction process.

Trump’s proposal calls for 79 F-35 jets, one more than was requested last year. But last year, Congress increased the number of F-35 purchases to 98 from 78 in the budget they approved.

The United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA), charged with the mission to develop, test and deploy a ballistic missile defense system, is examining an additional layer of national defenses. Its $ 9.1 billion budget includes funding to develop a prototype THAAD interceptor missile to defend the lower 48 states.

The MDA budget would also help fund the expansion of the Land Medium Defense (GMD) system, a network of radars, anti-ballistic missiles and other equipment designed to protect the United States from ICBM.

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