President Donald Trump's fiscal budget request for 2019 includes a proposed $686 billion defense budget.
While Trump has pushed for a larger military since he was campaigning for president, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said more recently that the “real growth” in the military buildup begins with the now-unveiled fiscal 2019 budget.
With this massive amount, the military is setting up contracts that will help the U.S. fight the next war against near peer threats. This includes vehicles, aircraft, ships, and hundreds of thousands of munitions, much of which was used up in the fight against ISIS.
Here are a couple purchases that stand out.
77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
An F-35A performs a test flight on March 28, 2013.
The military seems set on rolling out the new fifth-generation stealth jet. The fighter has recently gotten some good news for future international sales, as tensions in Asia and the Middle East rise.
The purchase of 77 F-35s is expected to cost $10.7 billion.
The B-21 Raider Long Range Strike Bomber
An artist rendering shows the first image of a new Northrop Grumman Corp long-range bomber
The B-21 Raider is a long-range stealth bomber that is intended to replace the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit. Details of the B-21 are scarce, as even Congress doesn't know much about it.
$2.3 billion will be spent on further development of the aircraft, which is expected to be an important part of the future nuclear triad.
15 KC-46 tankers
U.S. Air Force
A KC-46 Pegasus refuels an A-10 Thunderbolt II with 1,500 pounds of fuel July 15, 2016.
Aerial refueling plays a massive role in operations against ISIS and the Taliban. The KC-46 Pegasus can carry 212,299 pounds of fuel and has a maximum transfer load of 207,672 pounds. It is intended to replace the KC-135 Stratotanker.
The price tag for 15 new tankers is $3 billion.
29 MQ-9 Reapers
U.S. Air Force/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt
An MQ-9 Reaper, armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, piloted by Col. Lex Turner flies a combat mission over southern Afghanistan.
The MQ-1 Predator will be retired as soon as March and the Air Force is expected to purchase more MQ-9 Reapers.
The Reapers can fly longer, faster, and carry everything from Hellfire missiles to Joint Direct Attack Munitions.
25 AH-1Z Vipers
U.S. Marine Corps/ Pfc. William Chockey
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center – A Bell AH-1Z Viper takes off at a Forward Arming and Refueling Point at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Feb. 4, 2018, as a part of Integrated Training Exercise 2-18.
The AH-1Z Viper is a replacement/modernization of the Marine Corps' AH-1 Cobra.
The Corps plans to buy two more Vipers this year than last year and wants to have 342 in total.
60 AH-64E Apaches
Two AH-64E Apache helicopters prepare to land at Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, September 29, 2016.
Known as the Guardian, the AH-64E is another improved version of the AH-64 Apache. Additional new avionics and technology allow the gunship to fly faster, operate easier, and even control UAVs.
The AH-64Es are part of a $4.9 billion request from the Army for its aircraft.
6 VH-92 Presidential Helicopters
Associated Press/Evan Vucci
President Donald Trump walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Washington.
Sikorsky's S-92 has been selected to replace the Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King as the president's official helicopter. Initial fielding is planned for 2020, and the helicopters will have the iconic white and green paint scheme that is unique to presidential helicopters.
The price for the six new helicopters is expected to be $900 million.
5,113 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles
Five variants of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles made by Oshkosh
The Department of Defense wants to fully replace the Humvee, which has been the workhorse of the US military since the mid-1980s. DoD has selected Oshkosh's L-ATV line as the primary vehicle for its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.
The Pentagon has allocated $2 billion for the purchases.
Two Virginia Class submarines
USS Virginia returns to the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas called “alpha” sea trials, July 30, 2004.
The Virginia-class submarine is currently the Navy's newest type of submarine. It is a nuclear-powered attack sub and has the latest stealth technology. Virginia-class submarines are replacing older Los Angeles-class submarines, and are expected to be in service up to 2070.
The cost of two new subs will be $7.4 billion.
Three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Shields
USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) maneuvers alongside the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) for a fueling-at-sea (FAS), June 14, 2017.
Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers are the backbone of the current Navy fleet. The Navy currently has 64 of the destroyers in service, and want to add three more. The plans to buy more Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers may be an admission that the plans for the Zumwalt-class are not going well.
The three new ships will cost $6 billion.
43,594 Joint Direct Attack Munitions
2000 lbs GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) are transported to the flight deck of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75).
JDAMs are unguided “dumb” bombs that have gotten equipment that turn them into “smart” bombs, meaning they can be guided to their targets. The war against ISIS has caused a bomb shortage, so it should come as no surprise that the military is ordering so many new ones.
The cost for the 40,000+ bombs will be $1.2 billion.
4,338 Hellfire missiles
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Task Force Griffin, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division load an AGM-114 Hellfire missile on an AH-64E Apache helicopter in Kunduz, Afghanistan, May 31, 2017.
Hellfire missiles have proven to be absolutely essential for precision strikes against terrorists from Iraq and Afghanistan, to Syria and Somalia. They are anti-tank missiles that can be loaded on helicopter gunships like the AH-64 Apache, or drones like the MQ-9 Reaper.
148,287 155mm artillery rounds
Illuminating projectiles, each weighing close to 100 pounds, are staged by Pfc. Juan Valenzuela and others from the California Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 144th Field Artillery Regiment July 21 at National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, July 21, 2017.
Despite the fact that precision-guided strikes have become the dominant method of destroying enemy targets, good old-fashioned artillery is still a vital part. In fact, Marines in Syria recently set a new record for artillery barrages that have been intact since the Vietnam War.
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