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DOD Budget Proposal to Focus on Software, Munitions

Department of Defense

DOD Budget Proposal to Focus on Software, Munitions

The Department of Defense will shift its focus away from large platforms towards software and munitions programs in the upcoming 2022 budget request, according to a senior official.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, a 2021 Wash100 winner, said that the budget proposal will mark a major shift in how the federal government manages military modernization, Breaking Defense reported.

“Platforms will always matter, but it’s the software, it’s the munitions, it’s those pieces that make such a critical difference in our capability,” Hicks said at the Aspen Security Forum.

Hicks added that the 2022 budget will also provide some insights into the Biden administration’s military modernization plan ahead of the 2023 proposal, which the White House is expected to create on its own.

According to Hicks, the 2022 proposal will prioritize funding for research, development, test and evaluation programs of next-generation defense capabilities and other emerging technologies.

The budget will also have Congress-backed provisions for shipbuilding, nuclear deterrents, long-range fires and other capabilities that are expected to strengthen the United States’ military position against China.

Hicks and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a fellow 2021 Wash100 winner, previously announced plans to fund new technologies by foregoing the sustainment costs of aging equipment.

During his confirmation hearing in March, Austin also committed to ensuring the Pentagon’s focus on the space warfighting domain, which he said is being contested by China and Russia.

The secretary singled out China as a “pacing threat” or a competitor making significant progress toward challenging the U.S. defense strategy.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: Aspen Security Forum Breaking Defense budget China Defense and Intelligence Department of Defense emerging technology Kathleen Hicks Lloyd Austin modernization munitions software Wash100 White House