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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is asking for $718 billion in its fiscal 2020 budget, a $33 billion or about 5 percent increase over what Congress enacted for fiscal 2019.
The White House officially released the broad details of President Donald Trump's fiscal 2020 budget request on Monday, requesting a colossal $750 billion for national defense. Approximately $30 billion will fund nuclear weapons programs under the Department of Energy as well as other agencies.
The $718 billion budget is comprised of a base budget of $544.5 billion, $9.2 billion for emergency border funding and $164 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, aka the war budget.
What's more, the Department of Defense is asking Congress for $14.1 billion to invest in space operations and a key part of that is the first allocation of funding for a Space Force.
The Pentagon wants $72.4 million to establish a headquarters for Trump's proposed Space Force. The figure represents about 0.01 percent of the Pentagon's budget. President Donald Trump signed a directive last month ordering the Pentagon to draft legislation that would create the Space Force as a part of the U.S. Air Force. Space Force is slated to become the sixth military branch, the first in 72 years.
While the White House is asking for $8 billion over the next five years to establish the Space Force, U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told CNBC last year that the new branch is likely to cost as much as $13 billion.
Of the total $14.1 billion for space investment, about $1.6 billion will fund improvements to space-based missile warning capabilities, a missing link in America's layered missile defense system. What's more, the Pentagon will invest an additional $13.6 billion in missile defense capabilities, of which $174 million will finance missile warning systems to address hypersonic threats.
The funding comes as Russia and China sprint to develop hypersonic weapons, a new breed of weapons that the U.S. currently cannot defend against.
A hypersonic weapon is a missile that travels at Mach 5 or higher, which is at least five times faster than the speed of sound. That means a hypersonic weapon can travel about one mile per second.
So far, the Pentagon has awarded two multimillion-dollar hypersonic weapons contracts to Lockheed Martin last year.
— CNBC's Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.