The Pentagon released its fiscal 2015 budget proposal Tuesday. (US Defense Department)
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to cut weapon purchases slightly in fiscal 2015, but still plans to invest $153.9 billion for new aircraft, ships, satellites, ground systems and other equipment.
The US Defense Department’s modernization investments — which includes procurement and research-and-development accounts — fell only 3.6 percent despite federal budget caps. The numbers were disclosed in DoD’s $496 billion 2015 budget proposal, which the Obama administration sent to Congress on Tuesday.
Research-and-development accounts in DoD’s base budget were not hit as deeply as expected, falling $1.7 billion, or 2.6 percent from the 2014 enacted spending levels.
Defense leaders for the past year have stressed their desire to protect research-and-development funding, despite defense spending cuts.
Procurement fell a little steeper, falling $3.8 billion, or 4 percent, below the 2014 enacted level.
Moreover, the White House’s “opportunity, growth and security” initiative, which is separate from the Pentagon’s 2015 base budget, includes nearly $4 billion for procurement of military aircraft.
If Congress approves the extra proposal, it would boost Pentagon modernization spending close to the $159.7 billion enacted by Congress in 2014.
The additional proposal includes procurement money for:
■ 26 Boeing Apache helicopters ($600 million).
■ 28 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters ($500 million).
■ 2 Boeing Chinook helicopters ($100 million)
■ 8 Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft ($1.1 billion).
■ 10 Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft ($1.1 billion).
■ 2 Lockheed F-35 joint strike fighters ($300 million).
■ 12 General Atomics MQ-9 UAVs ($200 million). ■