Secretary of Defense Robert Gates later today will release the first details of an at least half-trillion dollar FY2010 defence budget request.

As the Obama Administration’s first defence spending proposal, the Gates press conference will reveal the fate of several major acquisition programmes, including the Lockheed Martin F-22, left in limbo last year by the outgoing Bush Administration.

The announcement, scheduled for 1:30pm EST, also will disclose the first glimpses of the new administration’s strategic goals for defence spending, which are expected to focus more resources on counter-insurgency tools at the expense of weapon systems optimized for conventional operations.

The Obama administration is also expected to take a more critical stance on missile defense, especially with the Pentagon’s experiments in such boost-phase intercept technologies as the Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser, Northrop Grumman Kinetic Energy Interceptor and the Raytheon Network Centric Air Defense Element.

  • Follow Stephen Trimble, Americas Managing Editor as he covers the FY2010 budget live: