The Pentagon has proposed slashing its 2013 modernization budget more than 7 percent from its spending projections a year ago, according to a U.S. Defense Department document obtained by Defense News.
Funds used to buy and develop new weapons, projected to total $193.3 billion in February 2012, will fall to $178.8 billion, down $14.5 billion, in DoD’s 2013 spending request, which will be sent to Congress on Feb. 13.
The so-called modernization budget is the sum of the procurement and research-and-development accounts in both the base budget and overseas contingency operations budget.
A year ago, the Pentagon projected spending $117.6 billion and procurement and another $75.7 on research and development (R&D). The new plan calls for spending $109.1 billion on procurement and $69.7 billion on R&D efforts.
The decline is attributed to the Pentagon’s plan to cut $487 billion from planned spending projections over the next decade. The first five years of those savings, totaling about $259 billion, will be outlined in DoD’s 2013 budget proposal.
The Budget Control Act of 2011, designed to lower the U.S. government deficit, mandated these defense cuts.
In early January, the Pentagon unveiled new strategic guidance, which officials said would help shape the cuts to defense spending. That guidance, the product of a months-long review, call for DoD to focus more on the Pacific region, while maintaining a focus on the Middle East.
Since the Pacific is such a vast, maritime region, spending on the Navy and Air Force programs is expected to be higher than Army and Marine Corps efforts.
Still, the funds requested for major mission sectors, such as aircraft and shipbuilding, in 2013 is down from what DoD asked for in 2012.
The Pentagon is requesting $47.6 billion for aircraft programs, down from a $54 billion 2012 request. The shipbuilding request is more than $1 billion less than last year’s $24 billion request.
The 2013 request includes $10.9 billion for ground systems. In 2012, DoD asked Congress to approve $16 billion for this type of equipment.
DoD’s 2013 budget request includes $11.9 billion for science-and-technology-related R&D nearly the same amount the Pentagon asked for in 2012.