The Pentagon has requested a record-breaking $718 billion in its fiscal 2020 budget, a 5% increase over what Congress allocated for fiscal 2019, as per the Russian Times.
The White House published the details of President Donald Trump’s new fiscal budget request on Monday, requesting a massive $750 billion for national defense. About $30 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Department of Energy.
The $718 billion budget includes a base budget of $544.5 billion, $9.2 billion for the border wall and $164 billion for foreign wars.
A sizeable portion of the funding will be used to operate multiple research and development programs, as the Pentagon is determined to mature and launch series production for new weapons and technologies, such as hypersonic missiles and fifth-generation fighters.
"With the largest research and development request in 70 years, this strategy-driven budget makes necessary investments in next-generation technology, space, missiles, and cyber capabilities," Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan said.
The funding boost is needed to "strongly position the US military for great power competition for decades to come," he added.
The funding includes $2.6 billion for hypersonic missiles that "complicate adversaries' detection and defense," another $3.7 billion for unmanned and even autonomous systems suitable for "contested regions.
Hypersonic missiles cruise at Mach 5 or faster, or about five times faster than the speed of sound. As of 2019, the Pentagon doesn't have missile defense systems that can stop a hypersonic attack nor has hypersonic missiles that are deployed with forces.
On the other hand, Russia last year sent its hypersonic weapons into series production and has already deployed missiles to its forces stationed around the country.
The threat of a hypersonic missile attack made the Pentagon cut the word "ballistic" from its recent iteration of the "Missile Defense Review," which was published last month. The last review, in 2010, was titled, "Ballistic Missile Defense Review."
"We are now recognizing the nature of missile threats to both the United States homeland, as well as to friends and allies abroad and our deployed forces go beyond just ballistic missiles," said Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy David J. Trachtenberg said February 1 at CSIS.
It's now clear that the Trump administration and Pentagon are urgently requesting billions of dollars in taxpayers funds to build hypersonic missiles before the next conflict explodes.