Here's how the US military spends its billions

The US military is unquestionably the dominant force on the planet.

From the greatest advances in technology to a massive network of military alliances, the US military retains a substantial lead over the militaries of every other country on the planet. And the backbone of this military greatness comes in large part from the economic prosperity of the US and the incredible funding that the Pentagon receives.

In 2015, the US will have a declared military and defence budget of $US601 billion, which is more than the next 7 highest spending countries combined. The following graphics show how the US will make use of its billions.

The vast majority of the $US601 billion will be funneled towards the military’s base budget, which includes funding for the procurement of military equipment and the daily operations costs of US bases.

Of the $US496 billion base budget, the vast majority of funding goes towards the cost of operating and maintaining the military and the cost of paying and caring for military personnel. A further $US90.4 billion is set aside for the procurement of new weapons systems during the 2015 fiscal year.

In terms of investments, the US has dedicated a substantial chunk of funding into aircraft and related systems. This is due to the procurement of the F-35 fifth-generation fighter, which is entering into service with the Marine Corps this year. The 2015 budget also has started to allocate funds for the next-generation long-range strike bomber for the Air Force.

In terms of major acquisitions, the F-35 has been the dominant cost with the procurement of 34 aircraft. The new Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine, which is intended to help modernize the US submarine fleet, is the second main acquisition cost for 2015. The $US6.3 billion price tag is for two subs.

By department, the US Navy will receive the most funding in 2015. However, the Department of the Navy’s funding also includes the 2015 budget for the US Marine Corps.

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