Defense budget plan tops $401 billion

The Defense Department today will unveil a $401.7 billion fiscal 2005 budget proposal that calls for investing heavily in integrated intelligence systems and places a strong emphasis on science, technology, readiness and training.

President Bush's Defense proposal represents a 7 percent increase over this year's funding. Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Bush's proposal will aid the military in its transformation goals.

'This budget builds upon past work to provide for a ready force made up of the talents and skills needed in our new national security environment,' Rumsfeld said in a statement.

The budget includes $68.9 billion for new weapons systems R&D, up from the $64 billion this year. It also earmarks $74.9 billion for weapons and other equipment, including $1.2 billion for unmanned aerial vehicles and $710 million for joint unmanned combat air systems.

The budget does not include money for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other funding in the budget proposal includes:

  • $3.2 billion for the Army's Future Combat System program to link 18 advanced warfighting ground and air vehicles and sensors. The request would push funding up from $1.7 billion this year.

  • $4.5 billion for the Joint Strike Fighter, a high-tech combat aircraft being developed by Lockheed Martin Corp. This year, the JSF program will receive $4.3 billion.

  • $10.2 billion for the missile defense program, a 13 percent increase over the $9 billion appropriated this year.

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