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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.

Despite Budget Boost, Army Investments in Future Weapons Stuck in Idle

Army leaders last week confirmed what industry analysts already knew: President Trump’s proposed military buildup would pump billions of dollars into Army coffers, but little of that money will be spent to design and develop new weapon systems.

Cutting-edge weapons projects that the defense industry has awaited for years — the development of a new tank, driverless combat vehicles or ultramodern high-speed helicopters — are still being talked about, but in the abstract, as systems that the Army would like to acquire a decade from now or longer.

If the Trump administration delivers on its promise to increase defense spending above the levels projected during the Obama years, the Army’s immediate priority will be to add soldiers to the ranks, provide adequate training and equipment to combat units. Efforts to improve the Army’s combat readiness started ramping up about three years ago, but officials warn that the force is still digging out of a deep hole. 

So even with an anticipated new influx of money, the next generation of weapon systems will be pushed further into the future, analysts and military officials caution.

“The Army's initiatives to regain and sustain readiness have come at a cost to modernization, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Army deputy chief of staff, told the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness subcommittee.

Senior Army leaders — notably Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, who is now Trump’s national security adviser — have called on the military to accelerate development of next-generation systems and to take technological leaps to ensure it is not overmatched in future wars. That type of aggressive modernization is not in the cards, at least in the next five years, as the Army will have to spend most of its equipment dollars on systems it already has in production.

Read the complete article here.

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.