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Biden’s defense budget seeks greater China deterrence and nuclear funding

Biden’s defense budget seeks greater China deterrence and nuclear funding

U.S. President Joe Biden’s $715 billion Department of Defense budget will shift funding from old systems to help modernize the nuclear arsenal to deter China, while also developing future warfare capabilities, people familiar with the budget said. The defense spending request, which will be sent to Congress on Friday, is expected to contain investments in troop readyness, space, the Pacific Deterrence Initiative aimed at countering China’s military build-up in the region and nuclear weapons technology, the people said.

The budget request would buy ships, jets and pay for maintenance and salaries, but an additional $38 billion is earmarked for defense-related programs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy and other agencies bringing the national security budget to $753 billion, a 1.7% increase over the 2021 figure.

There will also be money to further develop and test of hypersonic weapons and other “next generation” weapons systems as the military aims to build capabilities to counter Russia and China. President’s budget requests, including those for the military, are commonly a starting point for negotiations with Congress which ultimately decides how funds are spent.

Among the Pentagon’s competing priorities, the Biden administration will request 85 stealthy F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), the people said. The 2021 and 2020 presidential budgets requested 79 and 78 of the jets respectively, ultimately Congress authorized additional fighters. Senators and governors have come out to support the jet which has a huge industrial base. The U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plan, published in the final months of the Trump administration, and had 12 new surface combatant ships for the 2022 budget. But the Biden request has only eight new warships, the people said.

Biden’s defense budget seeks greater China deterrence and nuclear funding, Reuters, May 28

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