'US President Donald Trump has signed into law $700 billion in funding to the Pentagon, which includes a pay raise for troops and funding for a number of pet projects. It also breaks the ceiling set by the 2011 law on budget caps.
Congress sent the final version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to Trump at the end of November, and he ceremonially signed the bill Tuesday. The White House noted that the bill envisioned the largest pay raise for US military personnel in eight years and the biggest military expansion since the 1980s.
The final markup allocates $634 billion to Pentagon operations and almost $66 billion for the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund, intended for bankrolling wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. That’s about $32 billion more than what Trump initially requested.
“Brand new beautiful equipment is on its way, the best you’ve ever had by far,” Trump said on Tuesday. The bill authorizes the purchase of many weapons systems. In particular, the Congressional version authorizes the expenditure of $10.6 billion for 94 Joint Strike Fighter planes, which is $3.1 billion and 24 planes more than the White House asked for.
This translates into 60 F-35A models for the US Air Force, 24 F-35B models for the Marines, and 10 F-35C models for the US Navy. Another 24 F/A-18 Super Hornets – 10 more than the administration requested – have also been approved, to make up the shortfall of Navy planes.
The bill also approves $103 million more than the government requested to restart the production of A-10 ground attack aircraft, a 1970s workhorse which the F-35 was supposed to replace.'
Read more: Troops, toys & threats: Trump signs $700 billion military funding bill
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