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May 31, 2021

US submits $715bn defence budget request for fiscal year 2022

The budget proposes largest-ever investment in research as well as modernisation of nuclear arsenal.

The US has placed a $715bn defence budget request for fiscal year 2022, a nearly $10bn increase from what was allocated to the Defense Department last fiscal.

The spending request proposes largest-ever research, development, test and evaluation investment as well as modernisation of nuclear arsenal to deter emerging challenges.

Additionally, the budget request allocated a further $37.9bn for the Department of Energy and other agencies bringing total national security budget to $752.9bn. This represents a 1.6% increase from the fiscal 2021 enacted budget.

Overall, the budget request proposed a $112bn investment to boost research, a 5.1% increase compared to fiscal 2021.

Around $27.7bn is expected to be invested for upgrading nuclear triad structure.

The FY 2022 budget request also proposed a 2.7% pay raise for both military and civilians, and around $9bn investment in family support programmes.

It also requested a marginal decrease in total military active and reserve component end strength from 2,150,375 to 2,145,900.

However, the newly established Space Force service branch is expected to see an increase in headcount from 6,434 guardians authorised in FY21 to 8,400.

Around $52.4bn will be spent on fourth- and fifth-generation fighter aircraft, while $34.6bn will be invested to build a hybrid fleet of manned and unmanned naval platforms.

The proposed request also allocated $20.4bn for missile defence, $6.6bn for long-range fires and $122.1bn for training, installation support, and support to allies and partners.

In a statement, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said: “As the Secretary of Defense, my chief priority is defending America from enemies foreign and domestic and ensuring our troops remain the world’s preeminent fighting force.

“President Biden’s FY 2022 Defense Budget meets this commitment with critical investments to help us match resources to strategy, strategy to policy, and policy to the will of the American people.”

The budget request now awaits US Congress approval.

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