US defense budget to allocate $50 million to Baltic air defense ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

US F-35As and F-15Es practiced tactical refueling at Ämari Air Base on Thursday. July 25, 2019.
US F-35As and F-15Es practiced tactical refueling at Ämari Air Base on Thursday. July 25, 2019. Source: Mattias Allik

$50 million (USD) has been earmarked in the United States' 2020 defense budget for the development of the Baltic region's air defense.

The money is earmarked in the operation and maintenance (O&M) chapter of the U.S. defense budget, it appears from the letter of explanation accompanying the budget approved in the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget.

Overall, the U.S. defense budget is set to increase from $675.6 billion this year to $695.1 billion in the 2020 fiscal year, or approximately 2.8 percent.

The budget also includes a 3.1 percent military pay hike, the largest increase in the past decade.

Likewise to see significant increases are budgetary allocations for basic research and the development of future technologies, such as hypersonic weapons, 5G technology and artificial intelligence (AI) research, missile defense as well as cybersecurity.

In addition to supporting air defense in the Baltic region, the bill also allocates $250 million for increasing Ukraine's security.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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