The US Department of Defense's (DoD) Fiscal Year 2001 budget request was delivered to US lawmakers on 7 February. It includes significant funding for the proposed National Missile Defense (NMD) system, while sustaining production of the Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS).

Other priorities include the Northrop Grumman RQ-4AGlobal Hawk high-altitude endurance unmanned air vehicle, another squadron of Northrop Grumman electronic warfare EA-6Bs and the Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition. Lessons from Operation Allied Force against Yugoslavia last year, and other coalition operations, have highlighted the need for these systems.

The Clinton Administration intends to ask Congress for $2.2 billion for NMD in FY01 while funding for a fourteenth Joint STARS aircraft has also been requested as part of a Pentagon plan to increase its E-8 fleet to 19.

The DoD sought $267 billion for FY00, but got $268 billion. Defence secretary William Cohen will reportedly ask US Congress for $291 billion for FY01 - $5 billion more than the Pentagon planned to seek a year ago.

Source: Flight International