Special Report

35 Billion-Dollar Weapons in the 2024 US Military Budget

Tensions between the U.S. and China have been mounting for years, and with China’s recent militarization of several islands in the South China Sea, some U.S. officials fear an attack on Taiwan is imminent. The U.S. Department of Defense has responded to China’s rapid military expansion – which hints at plans to project its power beyond its own borders – with a 2024 defense budget request that aims to maintain the U.S.s military advantage over China.

The $842 billion budget exceeds the fiscal year 2023 budget by $26 billion and the 2022 budget by $100 billion. A statement released by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III states that this budget reflects the department’s “largest ever investments in readiness and procurement” as well as the “largest ever request for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which we are using to invest in advanced capabilities, new operational concepts, and more resilient force posture in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The total budget includes a weapons funding request totaling $315 billion. Some of the largest weapons allotments are $61.1 billion to aircraft systems, $48.1 billion to shipbuilding and maritime systems, and $30.6 billion to missiles and munitions. (See how China and the world’s top military spenders compare to the U.S.)

To identify the billion dollar weapons the U.S. military will spend the most on next year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the DoD’s recently-released Fiscal 2024 Budget Request. Each of the weapon systems on this list has a planned investment of over $1 billion in fiscal year 2024.

The spending totals include both procurement costs (purchasing completed weapons systems) as well as research, development, test, and evaluation, and the costs of modifying and otherwise upgrading existing weapons systems. The quoted descriptions of the spending, as well as the breakdown as to where in the military each system will go, comes directly from the DoD budget proposal, from the Program Acquisition Cost By Weapons System document. 

These weapons include missile defense systems, tactical vehicles, aircraft, submarines, and surface naval vessels. Some weapons allotments are also budgeted for cybersecurity defense systems, a space-based missile warning system, and chemical weapon demilitarization. The latter includes a program to destroy former U.S. chemical weapon production facilities and safely dispose of America’s chemical weapon stockpiles in compliance with the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention treaty. Here are 10 horrifying chemical weapons and the wars they were used in.

Click here to see 35 billion-dollar weapons in the 2024 US military budget.

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