The Pentagon's 2022 budget marks a major shift

After several weeks of waiting, the Biden Administration presented its first annual budget for the United States defense effort. Although it was the subject of several upstream statements, and many comments, this new Pentagon budget marks a profound evolution in the strategy that the White House wants to employ to prepare and employ its armed forces, with a line of sight, the increasingly fierce competition between the United States and China in the Pacific. To be able to meet this challenge now deemed almost inevitable by American officials, including the President himself, the executives of the Biden administration, as well as the military leaders of the Pentagon, have chosen to focus efforts on Research and Development of new systems as well as the effectiveness of the forces present, even if it means having to temporarily sacrifice certain acquisition programs.

The budget presented, which will be debated and probably amended by Congress, is based on a global envelope of $ 715 billion, up $ 11 billion compared to the 2021 budget, of which $ 111 billion will be devoted to R&D efforts, i.e. an increase of 6%, while at the same time, the acquisition budget will be reduced to $ 133,6 billion, a decrease of 6%. The nuclear component is stable at $ 27,7M, allowing work to continue on the new class of SSBN Columbia which will replace the Ohio-class submarines from 2030, as well as work on the strategic bomber program. B21 Raider intended to replace the B1Bs from 2025. Two joint points are notable at this level, the first being the funding of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to the tune of $ 5,1 billion in order to strengthen the efficiency of the American forces and allies in this theater, and the financing of Advanced Capability Enablers, strategic areas both for US Defense and for the efficiency and economic and technological resilience of the country, including $ 2,3 billion for microelectronics (this amounts to including in the $ 50 billion plan to relocate the microelectronics industry to the United States announced by Joe Biden), $ 3,8 billion for the hypersonic field, $ 875 million for artificial intelligence and $ 398 million for 5G.

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The American nuclear deterrent will receive $ 2022 billion in 27,7 to continue financing the modernization of its forces, in particular with the continuation of the B21 Raider strategic bomber program

The US Army feared to bear the cost of the simultaneous reinforcement needs of the US Navy and the US Air Force for the Pacific theater. Finally, with $ 173 billion allocated, the decrease in appropriations will be limited in 2022 to only $ 5 billion, partly offset by the withdrawal of its forces from the Afghan theater, freeing up $ 3,2 billion. It will therefore be able to maintain its investment efforts in the BIG 6 super program and its 35 priority programs, which alone will collect 47% of the $ 35 billion allocated to the US Army's R&D and equipment efforts, the 53 % remaining funding the 500 or so other ongoing programs. To achieve this, however, it will have to tighten its belt for several years in the field of acquisitions. Thus, in 2022, the US Army is only asking for 24 UH60M Black Hawk helicopters, 30 AH64E Apache attack helicopters and 6 MH47G Chinooks for its special forces, i.e. a drop of nearly 30% in the number of aircraft requested. by 2021. In addition, only 187 Stryker armored vehicles, 70 M1A2 Abrams and 25 Paladin self-propelled guns will be modernized, again in sharp decline. same the new anti-aircraft M-SHORAD sees its orders reduced to 37 copies, against 59 in 2021.

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