A US Air Force F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Eielson Air Force Base fly in formation over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, July 18, 2019InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US Defense Department’s fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request includes $170 billion for procurement efforts, marking the largest such investment in its history, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday. “The FY 2024 president’s budget allows the Defense Department to invest in capabilities that will ensure we maintain a ready, lethal and combat-credible joint force with a laser focus on China as the department’s pacing challenge and addressing the acute threat posed by Russia,” Austin said in a statement. “This budget also funds $170 billion for procurement, the largest in history.” Investments include $61.1 billion for air power development, modernization and procurement, with a focus on fighter jets such as the F-22 and F-35 aircraft, the statement said. The Defense Department also seeks to invest $48.1 billion in sea power through construction of nine battle force fleet ships and other projects, the statement said. The budget also allocates $29.8 billion to enhance missile and missile-defense projects, including the further development of hypersonic strike capabilities, the statement said. AnalysisWhy Bloated US Military Spending Can’t Ensure Its Dominance Over Russia, China10 March, 16:43 GMTIn addition, the budget also puts $11 billion toward a variety of “highly lethal precision weapons,” including the procurement of 24 hypersonic missiles, the statement also said. Moreover, the Defense Department is seeking $30.6 billion for munitions – a $5.8 billion increase from last year’s request – the statement said. The proposed budget will help position the Defense Department to best support its people and allies through this “decisive decade” and ensure the United States is prepared to meet current and future challenges, the statement added.At the same time, US President Biden issued $37.7 billion for nuclear enterprise modernization in the fiscal year 2024 defense budget on Monday, according to a release from the Pentagon.”Under the concept of integrated deterrence, the budget allows “$37.7 billion for Nuclear Enterprise Modernization, including: continued development and procurement of the B-21 program – $5.3 billion; production of the second Columbia ballistic missile submarine – $6.2 billion; first year advance procurement funding for the LGM-35A Sentinel program; development efforts supporting nuclear command, control, and communications systems,” the release stated.The Biden administration also seeks congressional approval to buy 83 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for another $13.6 billion as part of its proposed 2024 National Defense Appropriations Act.