Posted 12 декабря 2022, 06:55

Published 12 декабря 2022, 06:55

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

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Arsenals are empty: the US has prepared a budget aimed at increasing the production of weapons

12 декабря 2022, 06:55
The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the agreed version of the military budget for fiscal year 2023 prepared by the Armed Services Committee. It is 8% more than the White House asked for, and $45 billion more than this year's budget.

Alexander Sychev

The new military budget will be the largest in 20 years at $857.9 billion, with Lockheed Martin and Raytheon corporations the biggest beneficiaries.

In the near future, the bill has yet to pass hearings in the Senate, but the bill is unlikely to undergo any special changes if the House of Representatives, which is opposed to the White House, approved it without objection, although it initially proposed limiting it to $839 billion. Today in American politics, the military-industrial complex dictates the rules, on whose benevolence both parties equally depend.

Of the proposed record amount, $816.7 billion will go to the Pentagon, $30.3 billion will be transferred to the account of the Department of Energy for the development of the US nuclear triad. The rest goes to other military authorities in need.

The novelty of the current budget bill was a special section number 1244, which was called "Temporary powers related to Ukraine and other issues." It is about granting the US Department of Defense the right to bypass the procedure to purchase weapons and ammunition in order to replenish arsenals.

In nine months of supplying weapons to the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime, Washington has severely depleted its own stocks. For some ammunition, almost complete depletion has already been achieved, which the industry is not able to quickly replenish. It will take effort and funding. Therefore, although the document speaks of the temporality of the procedure for concluding multi-year contracts without tenders, the Pentagon sees it as a measure of long duration.

However, the Pentagon will not receive carte blanche. Members of the committees on the armed forces described in detail what ammunition and weapons systems these powers concern, as well as to what extent.

In particular, it is allowed to fire 864,000 155-millimeter artillery shells of various types. A separate item is long-range shells M982A1 Excalibur - 2050 pieces. Next come 12,000 AGM-179 (JAGM) air-to-ground missiles, 700 M142 HIMARS high-mobility artillery missile systems, 1,700 ATACMS army tactical ballistic missiles, 2,600 Harpoon naval missiles, another 1,250 naval strike missiles, 106,000 guided multiple rocket launchers, 3,850 Patriot PAC-3 missiles, 5,600 FIM-92 Stinger man-portable air defense systems, more than 28,000 Javelins anti-tank systems, 5,100 AIM-120 (AMRAAM) air-to-air missiles, 2.25 million modular artillery charges, 950 LRASM long-range anti-ship missiles, 3.1 thousand JASSM air-to-surface anti-ship missiles, 1.5 thousand SM-6 anti-missiles and 5.1 thousand Sidewinder air-launched missiles.

Of course, they will not be able to produce such a quantity in the United States in one year. Although some of the listed weapons have not yet been delivered to Ukraine, for example, Patriot air defense systems, the combination of the unfolding economic crisis and the refusal to replenish arsenals for a number of types of weapons for 20 years has led to the fact that today the industry will have to re-establish production and increase volumes release.

Given the long procurement lead time and the state of the industrial base, which is already struggling to cope with increased demand, the process can take quite a long time. Therefore, in the American case, the expression is quite applicable - there is nothing more permanent than temporary, which is what military circles count on. The main thing is to start buying weapons under multi-year contracts without competition, which the US military has long asked for in order to increase the speed of deliveries.

A special line in the bill is China and the threats that exist to US interests in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, the draft new budget extends the so-called Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI). Approximately $11.5 billion will be allocated to finance the development of a network of strongholds and the creation of a joint forces headquarters in this zone. Another billion will go to the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) to cover some "unfunded needs."

The new budget also outlines expenditures by type of troops. Thus, the Air Force will receive funds for the purchase of four EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft, five F-35A multi-purpose aircraft, and ten HH-60W attack transport helicopters. Funds are being allocated to retire the A-10 attack aircraft, as well as to accelerate the production of two E-7 airborne early warning and control aircraft.

The Navy will receive three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, two Virginia nuclear-powered submarines, one Constellation-class frigate, two expeditionary fast transports, one John Lewis-class tanker and one San Antonio amphibious ship, as well as a Navaho-class tugboat and rescue vessel.

The sailors will also be allowed to spend $25 million to continue research related to the nuclear-capable sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N) that the Joe Biden administration has been trying to kill.

The US Army will purchase a large number of different flying machines, including CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, MQ-1 Gray Eagle drones. The ground forces will increase their fleet of Abrams tanks, receive upgraded Stryker armored fighting vehicles, Paladin integrated control systems, medium and heavy tactical vehicles, M-SHORAD and Patriot missile defense systems.

The Marine Corps continues to engage in its own transformation into a more mobile and powerful type of rapid reaction force.

The new budget provides that the US military next year will serve: in the Army - 452 thousand military personnel, the Navy - 354 thousand, the Air Force - more than 325 thousand, the Marine Corps - 177 thousand and the Space Force - 8.6 t