The US Department of Defence has rolled out its $718 billion budget request for the fiscal 2020, with a substantial hike in war funding aimed at circumventing a budget gap. "This strategy-driven budget makes necessary investments in next-generation technology, space, missiles and cyber capabilities," Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement on Tuesday. "The operations and capabilities supported by this budget will strongly position the US military for great power competition for decades to come."
The budget request will pay for a 3.1 per cent military pay raise, 78 F-35 joint strike fighters, the Columbia class ballistic missile submarine programme, one Ford class aircraft carrier, three Virginia class submarines and three Arleigh Burke destroyers, among other hard and software, according to a breakdown provided by the Pentagon. Most notable change to the budget request from the previous year was an 84 per cent hike in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), a fund originally set up to finance US military interventions in the Middle East but has since become a "slush fund" for the Pentagon, Xinhua news agency reported.