United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has urged Congress to ratify the Department of Defense’s (DoD) proposed fiscal year 2025 budget.

The proposal, which amounts to 849.8 billion dollars, allocates 61.2 billion specifically to enhance the air dominance of the armed forces.

Budget breakdown and expectations for defense

During a session of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, both Secretary Austin and Air Force General CQ Brown, Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized the importance of approving the DoD budget to ensure the military preparation of the country. Austin stated:

“We made difficult but responsible decisions that prioritize short-term readiness, modernizing the joint force, and supporting our troops and their families. “The president’s request will invest in cutting-edge capabilities across all domains.”

When it comes to air power, $61.2 billion will be allocated to “develop, modernize and acquire lethal air forces.” Among the main acquisition and development programs that will benefit from this financing are:

  • 12.4 billion dollars allocated to the acquisition of 68 F-35s.
  • $5.3 billion in development costs for the B-21 Raider.
  • 3 billion dollars for the acquisition of 15 KC-46 tanker aircraft.
  • 1.9 billion dollars for the acquisition of 18 F-15EX Eagle II.

This budget conforms to limits established by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. As a result, procurement costs have been reduced in select programs compared to fiscal year 2024. For example, the number of F-35s has decreased by 83 to 68 units, and that of F-15EX, from 24 to 18 units.

Strengthening and modernization of air capabilities

$61.2 billion for the US Defense budget.
F-15EX

Additionally, the budget includes significant investments in modernizing capabilities for the F-22 Raptor, highlighting the integration of new AESA radars, improvements in avionics and stealth, and the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) for the F/A- 18 Super Hornet.

According to recent reporting from Simple Flying, the F-35 program is estimated to cost the US more than $2 trillion over its life cycle, which has recently been extended to 2088.

The budget proposal also allocates significant funds for the well-being of military personnel and their families, including increases in salaries, housing subsidies, investments in child care and improvements in housing for service members.

General Brown told the House that investing in personnel is not only a moral obligation but also an essential “strategic imperative” to enable military personnel to realize their full potential.

Strategic support and financing for allies against threats

$61.2 billion for the US Defense budget.
The Air Force’s new KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft.

The Defense Department has also requested an addition of $60 billion to the fiscal year 2024 budget, intended to support allies such as Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, which face actual or potential military aggression.

Austin emphasized that providing military assistance to these partners not only reinforces global security but also represents an investment in American industry, estimating a disbursement of $50 billion in 30 states in the nation.

Austin emphasized: “We do not provide funds to Ukraine. We provide material in terms of weapons, vehicles [and] ammunition. All those things are replaced by us. And the replacements are designed and built in our industry, so that means good American jobs for the people of America.”Top of the form