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Highest pay raise in ten years for military personnel, reveals US FY20 defense budget

21 March 2019 Guy Eastman

The total US Department of Defense (DoD) FY20 budget request is USD750.3 billion, a nominal 4.8 per cent increase over the FY19 DoD budget, comprised of:

  • USD544.5 billion for the base budget;
  • USD164.6 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) ('warfighting') budget;
  • USD9.2 billion for Emergency funding for border security and reconstruction after damages from Hurricanes Florence and Michael;
  • USD32.0 billion, comprised of the national defense portion of the Department of Energy (DoE) budget, is the final piece of the total US Defense budget.

The President's Budget Request (PBR) now goes to the Congress for review and adjustment prior to sending to the president to sign into law for budget execution beginning on 1 October 2019.


  • This budget includes a request to increase military end strength by 7,700 troops (change from FY19 to FY20 over the total force). This would result in an active duty military force of 1,339,500 personnel across the services. The FY20 budget includes a proposed 3.1 percent pay raise for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of the military, the highest per cent pay raise in ten years.
  • This PBR requests the single, largest Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) budget in over 70 years at USD104.3 billion.
  • The Science and Technology (S&T) Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) portion of the budget equals USD14.1 billion, which is 13.5 per cent of the total RDT&E budget of USD104.3 billion. Specific technology areas quoted by DoD are: hypersonics, space, cyber, autonomy, directed energy, electronic warfare and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • DoD states that its cyber funding for FY20 is about USD9.6 billion; as such, that represents a 13.7 per cent 7-year Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
  • This PBR requests the largest shipbuilding budget in more than 20 years at USD23.8 billion and includes twelve new construction ships plus two Large Unmanned Surface Vessels in FY20. The five-year Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) requests 52 new construction ships. This represents a larger commitment to the nation's shipbuilding plan than in the past.
  • The US nuclear deterrent force (Triad) modernization continues to gain traction with ample funding in the FY20 PBR for the following programs: 1) Air Force B-21 Raider Long-Range Strategic Bomber, 2) Air Force Ground-based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), 3) Air Force Long Range Stand-Off Missile, 4) B-61 Bomb, 5) the Navy's Columbia-class Nuclear-powered Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine, and 6) Navy's Trident II D5 Submarine-launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Mods. Funding for these programs plus some additional supporting programs equals about 5 per cent of the DoD investment profile.

Jane's Defence Budgets from IHS Markit applies a unique methodology to deliver a macro-level analysis of national defence spending around the world. Covering 105 countries accounting for 99% of global defence spend, it provides a 20-year view with 10 years of historical analysis alongside 10 years of forecast, to deliver critical insight into the current and future size, shape, and capabilities of the world's key military powers. Find out more

Posted 21 March 2019 by Guy Eastman, Senior Analyst, Research and Analysis, Aerospace and Defense


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