(JustPatriots.com)- As the Pentagon seeks to modernize the US military, President Biden is expected to ask Congress for over $770 billion in defense spending for the 2023 fiscal year, eclipsing the record budget requests made by former President Donald Trump.
The $770 billion figure for the 2023 fiscal year beginning October 1 was reached through ongoing budget talks between Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the White House Office of Management and Budget. As the negotiations are still underway, the final amount may change before the formal budget request is sent to Congress in the coming months.
Some believe the final number could be anywhere from $773 billion to $800 billion.
The “top line” national defense budget includes spending on salaries, tanks, and Lockheed Martin’s stealth F-35 fighter jets, as well as funding for the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons programs and defense-related activities within other federal agencies.
Top priorities for the 2023 fiscal year budget include shipbuilding, developing capabilities in space, missile warning, and modernizing the nuclear triad of ballistic missile submarines, bombers, and land-based missiles.
Nuclear modernization is considered a “must pay” for the Pentagon in addition to the DoD’s plans to continue investing in research and development of weaponry to confront any potential future conflicts with China and Russia.
The biggest winners in this proposed spending are Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics.
In addition to the increased funding, the Pentagon plans to cut costs by retiring older weaponry that has become too expensive to operate, like Littoral Combat Ships. It also plans to retire the older A-10 planes which the US withdrawal from Afghanistan made less essential because they are vulnerable to more sophisticated enemies.
The final defense budget crafted by former President Trump during his final year in office was $752.9 billion. Congress increased that amount by $25 billion, resulting in a $778 billion budget for the 2022 fiscal year.
According to some in the Pentagon, it is likely Biden’s $770 billion budget request will also be increased by Congress.