Top priorities for defense in the budget request include nuclear modernization, missile defeat and defense, space and cyberspace.
For fiscal 2021, DOD is asking for $28.9 billion to fund modernization of the nuclear defense program, covering all three legs of the nuclear triad: land, sea and air.
Around $7 billion is targeted at nuclear command, control and communications. Another $2.8 billion is earmarked for the B-21 Raider long-range strike bomber. The Air Force eventually expects to get some 100 of the aircraft, which will carry the B61-12 and B83 nuclear gravity bombs, as well as the long-range standoff cruise missile.
The request for nuclear modernization also funds procurement of the Columbia-class ballistic submarine at $4.4 billion, and the ground-based strategic deterrent at $1.5 billion. The GBSD is expected to replace about 400 existing Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
DOD's request also includes $15.4 billion for the newly created U.S. Space Force, $337 million for the Space Development Agency, and $249 million for U.S. Space Command.
Defense officials said the research, development, testing and evaluation budget request is the largest in history, at $106.6 billion. Funding requests for hypersonics at $3.2 billion, microelectronics at $1.5 billion and artificial intelligence at $800 million highlight DOD priorities with regard to the great-power competition, Pentagon officials said. The request for hypersonics would be an increase of 23% over last year, while artificial intelligence would get a 7.8% bump.
Much of the budget request goes toward modernization.
In the air, the budget request seeks $3 billion for 15 KC-46 Pegasus tankers to replace aging Eisenhower-era KC-135 Stratotankers and KC-10 Extenders. The request also provides $11.4 billion for 79 F-35 Lightning II variants.
On the sea, the budget request would fund a new Virginia-class submarine at $4.7 billion and two DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers at $3.5 billion.
On the land, the Army and Marine Corps would receive 4,247 joint light tactical vehicles at $1.4 billion, as well as $1.5 billion for modifications and upgrades to 89 M-1 Abrams tanks.