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"We had no choice but to fund our military because we have to have by far the strongest military in the world," Trump said during an impromptu White House press event. "You see the players out there, and you see what we are dealing with."
Trump's signature on the 2,200-page legislation grants the most significant increase in defense funding in the past 15 years. The Department of Defense is set to gain $61 billion more than last year's enacted funding for a top line of $700 billion.
Defense Secretary James Mattis, who stood behind Trump during the presser, framed the bill as a needed measure to preserve the lethality of U.S. forces.
"Today we have received the largest military budget in history, reversing many years of declining and unpredictable funding, and together we are going to make our military stronger than ever," Mattis said. "We in the military are humbled and grateful to the American people for their sacrifices on behalf of this funding. Now, it is our responsibility in the military to spend every dollar wisely in order to keep the trust and the confidence of the American people and the Congress."
The funding in the defense-friendly bill will be spread over the Pentagon's base budget of $589.5 billion and $65.2 billion for the overseas contingency operations, or OCO, budget. The remainder of the $700 billion is appropriated to other defense-related programs outside the Department of Defense.
The measure also provides $238 billion for operations and maintenance, $89.2 billion for research and development, $9.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency and $137.7 billion for personnel pay — a 2.4 percent increase from fiscal year 2017.
The omnibus allocates $144.3 billion for military equipment procurement, too. Here's a look at some of the big-ticket items:
— $1.1 billion for the upgrade of 85 Abrams tanks: America's stalwart M1 Abrams, used in nearly every major U.S. conflict since its inception in 1980, serves as the main battle tank of the Army and Marines. At close to 70 tons, the Abrams tank is among the heaviest in the world, but it makes up for its weight with firepower and maneuverability.
— $483 million for the upgrade of 145 Bradley fighting vehicles
— $300 million for Stryker lethality upgrades
— $23.8 billion for 14 ships: "Our Navy is at about the lowest point in terms of ships that it has been in over 100 years," Trump said. "We are adding a significant number of extremely advanced, advanced vessels."
The Navy ship procurement includes funding for one aircraft carrier replacement, two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, two Virginia-class submarines, three littoral combat ships, one expeditionary sea base, one expeditionary fast transport, one amphibious ship replacement, one fleet oiler, one rescue ship and one oceanographic survey ship.
— $10.2 billion for 90 F-35 fighter jets: Lockheed Martin's fifth-generation stealth fighter, valued at an acquisition cost of $406.5 billion, is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons system.
Trump called the F-35 "the most sophisticated aircraft in the world " and noted its stealth capabilities.
"They're hard to find, they're hard to see, therefore they are hard to beat. It's very tough to beat a plane when you can't see," Trump said.
— $1.8 billion for 24 F/A-18 fighter jets: Earlier this month, Trump called Boeing's F-18 fighter jet "a work of art" and said it was "his favorite plane."
Trump also noted that the U.S. plans to buy 24 more F-18 jets, saying the planes would be the "latest and the greatest stealth and a lot of things on that plane that people don't even know about."
And while the Navy and Boeing are currently negotiating a service life modification contract that could add some components native to a stealth aircraft, as it stands now, Boeing does not field stealthy F-18s capable of evading radar.
— $1.1 billion for 56 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters: Trump described Sikorsky's Black Hawk helicopters as "fighting machines" and the "most advanced helicopters in the world."
— $1.6 billion for 30 new and 50 remanufactured Apache helicopters
— $2.9 billion for 15 KC-46 tanker aircraft: Boeing, the world's largest manufacturer of jetliners, has missed several deadlines for the Air Force's new aerial refueling tanker.
The defense giant is currently under contract to deliver 18 tankers to the Air Force by the end of this year.
"The tanker aircraft is very important based on everything. It allows our planes to travel anywhere in the world without landing," Trump said.