U.S. Congress appears close to approving a 2018 defense budget that includes a $6.5 billion increase for Army weapons programs in addition to boosting troop levels and spending more on readiness.
According to Military&Aerospace’s news, the omnibus spending bill lawmakers hope to pass by midnight Friday, 23 March 2018, includes $660 billion for defense, a $61 billion increase over the 2017 budget, as a result of a bipartisan agreement to raise defense budget caps enacted in 2011. Another increase is expected in the 2019 budget. The 2018 budget includes $23.9 billion for Army procurement, a $6.5 billion increase over the original budget request. This provides: $5.5 billion for aircraft, a 33 percent increase; $3.2 billion for missiles, a 27 percent increase; $4.4 billion for weapons and tracked combat vehicles, an 81 percent increase; $2.6 billion for ammunition, a 36 percent increase; $8.3 billion for other procurement, a 28 percent increase.