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Pentagon Plans To Cut Modernization Programs To Meet Deficit Reduction Targets

The deficit-reduction deal to which President Joe Biden agreed with Congressional Republicans in 2022 is forcing across-the-board cuts in discretionary funding in next year’s budget. The FY2025 request for the Pentagon will be capped at $850 billion, two U.S. officials and a congressional aide (all unnamed, of course) told Politico yesterday. The cut from FY24 is $10 billion, more than 1%of the budget. That may not sound like much, but the services are preparing to propose to make those cuts where they will cause the most pain in Congressional districts, that is, modernization and procurement programs.

According to {Politico’s sources, the proposed cuts include the following: the Navy will reduce its annual purchase of Virginia-class attack submarines from two to one; the Army recently announced a massive overhaul of its aviation programs, including the shelving of major helicopter and drone projects and putting that money toward aircraft the Army believes are most necessary on the modern battlefield; and the Air Force is expected to cut its purchases of the F-35 fighter jet by 18 this year.

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