2019 DOD budget proposes $686.1 billion in military spending: largest Pentagon budget ever?

WASHINGTON – Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are seeking an overall increase of more than 7 percent to military spending next year. The proposed fiscal 2019 DOD budget, submitted to Congress Monday, is for $686.1 billion, which represents a 7.4 percent increase over this year's request of $639.1 billion, and is reported to be the largest-ever DOD topline budget request.

Feb 13th, 2018
2019 DOD budget proposes spending $686.1 billion in military spending: largest Pentagon budget ever?
2019 DOD budget proposes spending $686.1 billion in military spending: largest Pentagon budget ever?
WASHINGTON – Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are seeking an overall increase of more than 7 percent to military spending next year. The proposed fiscal 2019 DOD budget, submitted to Congress Monday, is for $686.1 billion, which represents a 7.4 percent increase over this year's request of $639.1 billion, and is reported to be the largest-ever DOD topline budget request.

Proposed spending levels for fiscal 2019, which begins next Oct. 1, include a base budget of $597.1 billion, and an overseas contingency operations budget of $89 billion. This would add $47 billion to the DOD budget, compared to the 2018 request.

The lion's share of proposed defense budget increases for next year are in the base accounts, which include procurement, research, and operations and maintenance.

The 2019 proposed $597.1 defense base budget represents a 3.9 percent hike from this year's base budget request of $574.5 billion. The proposed $89 billion 2019 overseas contingency operations (OCO) budget, which supports continuing military operations, is up nearly 38 percent from this year's OCO budget request of $64.6 billion.

Related: Nuclear forces, command and control, sensors, information security top DOD budget research priorities

The DOD budget request for next year contains $144.34 billion for procurement, which is up 15.3 percent over 2018's procurement request of $125.23 billion. The procurement budget generally contains spending for new military ships, aircraft, land vehicles, and other military equipment.

The U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force all have increases in their procurement budgets next year compared to their 2018 requests. The Army's procurement budget would increase by 31 percent from $21.2 billion this year to $27.8 million in 2019. The Navy's procurement budget would increase by 16.2 percent from $50.34 billion this year to $58.48 billion in 2019. The Air Force's procurement budget would increase by 5.9 percent from $47.73 billion this year to $50.54 billion in 2019.

The Navy and Air Force are increasing their aircraft procurement budgets next year. While the Army has a slight cut in its aircraft budget, it would see big increases in procurement of missiles, weapons, and combat vehicles. The Navy would see increases to its shipbuilding budget, and the Air Force would see increases to its space and ammunitions budgets.

This budget proposes to buy 5,113 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) for $2 billion; upgrade 135 M1 Abrams main battle tanks for $2.7 billion; buy 30 amphibious combat vehicles for $300 million; and buy 197 armored multi-purpose vehicles for $800 million.

Related: Next year's DOD budget makes substantial cuts in military procurement; aircraft buying hit hard

The 2019 DOD aircraft budget proposes to buy 77 F-35 joint strike fighters for $10.7 billion; 15 KC-46 airborne tanker replacements for $3 billion; 24 F/A-18 Hornet fighter-bombers for $2 billion; 60 AH-64E attack helicopters for $1.3 billion; six VH-92 presidential helicopters for $900 million; 10 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for $2.2 billion; and eight CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters for $1.6 billion.

In shipbuilding, this budget would fund two new Virginia-class fast attack submarines for $7.4 billion; three Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyers for $6 billion; one littoral combat ship for $1.3 billion; one Ford-class aircraft carrier for $1.8 billion; two fleet replenishment oiler ships for $1.1 billion; and one expeditionary sea base for $700 million.

Among the biggest increases in Next year's budget represents a strong commitment to U.S. military weapons and capabilities development, with a research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) request of $92.26 billion -- a 10.8 percent increase from the 2018 RDT&E request for $83.33 billion.

The fiscal 2019 DOD budget request now goes to Congress for consideration, and should be approved sometime next fall.

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