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US budget boosts funding for weapons

The US Defense Department’s budget request released on Monday would boost funding for research, development and procurement of weapons by 13% to $190 billion in fiscal 2016, including nearly $11 billion for the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet.

The Pentagon budget plan would boost funding for research and development (R&D) programs by 6.3% to $69.8 billion, a move welcomed by industry, which has long urged the Pentagon to keep investing in longer-term projects.

The funding will pay for work on high-speed strike weapons, a new initiative to start work on a sixth-generation fighter, a railgun weapon that can fire a low-cost projectile at seven times the speed of sound, as well as improved navigation and timing equipment, and high energy lasers.

– The budget again seeks to retire the popular A-10 close air support aircraft for savings of $382 million, a move sure to meet strong resistance in Congress, which rejected a similar proposal last year.

– It proposes $87 million in additional savings by scaling back the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon built by Raytheon.An E-2C Hawkeye launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington


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