The Pentagon’s proposed $495.6 billion budget for the coming fiscal year would provide $154 billion for weapons purchases and research, $25 billion less than projected a year ago, according to the Defense Department.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined a five-year Pentagon budget proposal that calls for retiring older weapons, limiting military compensation and shrinking the Army, moves that will be resisted by lawmakers.
The Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian said the U.S. Navy needs more ships with the protection and firepower to survive an advanced adversary, not just “niche platforms,” weeks after she ordered cuts in the $34 billion Littoral Combat Ship program.
Defense contractors wouldn’t feel the full effect of automatic budget cuts for three or four years as weapons programs are facing only a 3.5 percent reduction next year, according to an independent research group.