Pentagon seeks billions to replace depleted munitions – Bloomberg
The US Department of Defense plans to request more than $300 billion for weapons procurement and research and development efforts in the upcoming fiscal year, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing confidential papers. The spending will reportedly focus on replacing the munitions sent to Kiev and enhancing the US’ ability to fight China.
According to an internal budget document seen by the news outlet, the Pentagon is seeking a total of $170 billion for new arms. Of this sum, $76.8 billion is being requested for the Navy and Marines, $61 billion for the Air and Space Force, and $15.7 billion for the Army, the report says.
In particular, the Department of Defense requested $400 million to acquire a new version of the Stinger air defense system, $199 million to purchase 541 Javelin anti-armor missiles, and $179 million to procure 28 additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Bloomberg reported. The US has provided all of these types of armaments to Kiev to aid it in its fight against Russia.
The Pentagon also wants to boost its stock of long-range missiles, which would be critical in the event of a direct military confrontation with China, the report says.
In addition, the Pentagon also reportedly requested $145 billion for research and development projects. This includes $46 billion that would be earmarked for the Air Force, $27 billion for the Navy, and $15.7 billion for the Army.
The documents are scheduled for release on Monday, according to Bloomberg while the new fiscal year starts on October 1.
The Pentagon’s reported requests come after US President Joe Biden's administration published a budget proposal on Thursday that would entail defense spending increasing by 3.2% to a total of $842 billion in 2024, with $6 billion pledged to Ukraine.
In recent months, there have been numerous media reports claiming that US arms stockpiles are being depleted due to the country’s support for Ukraine. Since the start of the conflict, the Pentagon has committed some $32.2 billion in military aid to Kiev, including tens of thousands of artillery rounds and thousands of anti-air and anti-armor systems.
Russia has repeatedly warned both the US and its NATO allies that supplying Kiev with arms would only prolong the conflict while making the bloc a direct participant in the hostilities.