The FY2017 Department of Defense (DoD) budget will total $582.7 billion DoD Secretary Ash Carter revealed in a speech to the Economic Club in Washington, DC today.
This amount is consistent with the budget agreement signed in December. Carter said the funds provided in this agreement allow DoD “to focus on the shape, making choices and trade-offs to adjust to a new, strategic era, and to seize opportunities for the future.”
Carter indicated that the budget request will begin to show that DoD is taking a longer view of countering security threats. “Even as we fight today's fights, we must also be prepared for the the fights that might come 10, 20 or 30 years down the road,” he said.
The secretary identified the challenges that underpin the key decisions that he and the senior civilian and military leaders made in developing this budget plan: Russian aggression in Europe; China's rise in the Asia Pacific region; security concerns caused by North Korea and Iran; and continuing fight against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and other forms of terrorism. Carter said addressing these challenges requires “some new thinking on our part, new posture in some regions and also new and enhanced capabilities.”
Carter said the FY2017 budget will include $7.5 billion more than than last year for new investments to fight the war against ISIL, 50 percent more than last year. Citing other related investments Carter said the budget would include over 35,00 GPS-guided smart bombs and laser-guided Rockets He also said the Air Force would defer the final retirement of the A-10 aircraft (being used extensively in action against ISIL) until 2022. Congress has been highly critical of the proposal to retire the A-10, stopping it's retirement in the past.
The budget will support additional U.S. Forces in Europe and training with U.S. Allies under the European Reassurance Initiative by increasing funding to $3.4 billion in FY2017.
Research and development funding in FY2017 will total $71.4 billion, according to Carter, to fund an enhanced effort to advance and field new capabilities.
Investments in strategic capabilities highlighted by Carter include technologies being developed in the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO). These efforts will “reimagine exiting DoD, intelligence community and commercial systems by giving them new roles and game-changing capabilities.” SCO funded capabilities will include: advanced navigation (e.g., microcameras and sensors); swarming autonomous vehicles (e.g. microdrones); self-driving networked boats; gun-based missile defense; and an arsenal plane (to be a launch pad for conventional payloads).
FY2017 funding for submarine capabilities will total $8.1 billion and total over $40 billion over five years. Investment in cyber warfare and security will be $7 billion in FY2017 and $35 billion over five years, to “improve DoD's network defenses…build more training ranges… and develop cyber tools and infrastructure to provide offensive options,” Cater said. He also stressed that the FY2017 budget will contain more funding than the $5 billion in last year's budget to enhance the “ability to identify, attribute and negate all threatening action in space.”
On making tradeoffs to fund additional submarines and planes Carter said DoD tried to protect modernization and readiness posture. One tradeoff Carter mentioned was buying only as many Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) needed, Carter said.
Carter also said the budget continues acquisition reform, reduces overhead to allow DoD to reallocate $8 billion over the next 5 years to higher priorities, and pursues organizational reforms.
Full details of the FY2017 federal budget will be released by the president on Tuesday, February 9.