Politics

Trump signs $738 billion defense bill. Here's what the Pentagon is poised to get

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump approved a colossal defense bill Friday that authorizes a topline of $738 billion for fiscal year 2020.
  • The National Defense Authorization Act grants a base budget of $658.4 billion and an additional $71.5 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, a.k.a. the war budget.
Crewmasters with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, prepare to refuel an F/A-18 Hornet over the W-291 training area in southern California, March 6, 2019.
Sgt. Dominic Romero | US Marine Corps

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump approved a colossal defense bill Friday that authorizes a topline of $738 billion for fiscal year 2020.

The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, grants a base budget of $658.4 billion and an additional $71.5 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, a.k.a. the war budget.

This year's legislation includes a 3.1% pay increase for troops, the first-ever paid family leave for all federal workers and the creation of a Space Force — the first addition to the sister services in 72 years.

The $738 billion for fiscal 2020 represents a $21 billion increase over what Congress enacted for fiscal 2019.

Here's a breakdown of some of the big-ticket items the Pentagon is authorized to buy.

Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II fighter jet at a ceremony on
Lockheed Martin

In April, the Pentagon asked for $57.7 billion to invest in the military's air domain. Of that total, the Defense Department requested $11.2 billion to buy 78 F-35 jets. Congress tacked on additional oversight measures but raised funding in the NDAA to $12.2 billion for a total of 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

The fifth-generation stealth jet is the crown jewel in Lockheed Martin's portfolio and remains the Pentagon's most expensive weapons system. Last month, the Pentagon announced a $34 billion F-35 contract with Lockheed, the largest contract yet for the defense company's costly fighter program.

The new defense policy bill bars the delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey in the wake of a controversial weapons deal Ankara struck with Moscow.

In regards to other major aircraft programs, the NDAA supports the full funding request of $1 billion for 48 AH-64E attack helicopters, $2 billion for 24 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters and $1.1 billion for 8 Boeing F-15EX jets.

Congress also agreed to put $3 billion toward the U.S. Air Force's new long-range stealth B-21 bomber. America's next heavy bomber is named "Raider" and is made by Northrop Grumman.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transit the Western Pacific.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean Castellano | U.S. Navy

The Pentagon asked for $34.7 billion, the largest request in more than 20 years for shipbuilding, to grow and modernize the Navy's fleet.

The NDAA supports the construction of three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, a frigate, two amphibious ships, and three unmanned surface vessels.

The NDAA adds that the United States must maintain a minimum of 11 aircraft carriers in order to "protect our interests around the world" and supports a plan to buy 10 Virginia-class attack submarines.

For the fight on land, the NDAA fully funds the Pentagon's budget request for ground combat systems, which includes: $0.6 billion for 131 armored multipurpose vehicles and $2.2 billion for 165 Abrams tanks.

The measure also puts forth funds to modernize 152 Stryker combat vehicles, which are manufactured by General Dynamics. The bill sets aside an additional $249.2 million for the Stryker's medium-caliber weapon system.

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