Pentagon Seeks Ways To Buy Massive Amounts Of Munitions For Conflict With China Under Biden’s Defense Budget

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The Pentagon seeks to overhaul the way it buys munitions, requesting $30.6 billion in funding from Congress to scale up orders for the varieties of weapons needed to confront China, officials said Monday.

Surging security assistance to Ukraine has depleted U.S. weapons stockpiles and exposed a need to rethink how the Pentagon procures short, medium and long-range munitions from defense contractors, officials said at the unveiling of the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal Monday. In particular, a pilot program for certain long-range munitions would authorize Defense officials to make large orders for several years at a time rather than renegotiate contracts every year, which could lower costs and improve the defense base’s ability to manufacture weapons at a large scale, according to budget materials.

“We are buying to the limit and expanding limits,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said at a briefing.

The munitions procurement request is $5.8 billion above the administration’s ask for fiscal year 2023 and 12% more than Congress enacted, Hicks explained. It includes $5.6 billion for ammunition, $17.3 billion for tactical missiles and $7.3 billion for strategic (nuclear capable) missiles, the budget documents show.