President Joe Biden’s $715 billion defense budget proposal for the fiscal year 2022 requests increased spending to upgrade the US missile defense systems and to continue funding the development of hypersonic weapons in order to match the capabilities of Russia and China, the Defense Department budget proposal revealed.
“Hypersonic weapon development increases by $52 million to fund the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCI-FIRE), an air-breathing prototype in partnership with Australia, and the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile prototype while continuing to fund the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) for an early operational capability in 2022.
ARRW is funded to $238 million and is on track to be the nation’s first operational hypersonic weapon,” the budget proposal said on Friday.
Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget James Peccia said the defense budget includes $161 million to begin initial production for 12 ARRW hypersonic missiles in 2022.
In addition, the US Defense Department has requested $27.7 billion for nuclear modernization and $20.4 billion for missile defeat and defense systems.
The Biden administration also seeks $2.8 billion to upgrade its early-warning missile defense system to detect and track hypersonic missiles, the budget said. This includes investments in the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared to track ballistic and hypersonic threats, Upgraded Early Warning Radars and Wide Area Surveillance in the National Capital Region, it added.
The budget proposes providing the Navy $2 billion to go toward ship-based defense for regional and strategic threats. These investments include the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Weapon System, Standard Missile procurement for cruise, ballistic and hypersonic missile defense as well as E-2D Hawkeye sensor capabilities.
Pentagon Director for Operations Michelle Atkinson said the construction of the AEGIS Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System in Poland is more than 90 percent complete
Moreover, Biden’s 2022 defense budget includes $5.1 billion for the US military’s Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) meant to increase the United States’ readiness and capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.
These investments would be used to demonstrate US commitment to preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific, building forces that are ready to respond to aggression, and strengthening partnerships with allies in the region, the budget said.
The Defense Department is also requesting $10.4 billion for its cyberspace activities and $52.4 billion for the procurement of more fourth and fifth-generation fighter jets, which includes $12 billion for 85 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and $1.5 billion for the enhanced F-15EX fighter jet.