The INSIDER daily digest -- March 12, 2024

By John Liang / March 12, 2024 at 2:01 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has continuing coverage of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request.

The Pentagon, under the Fiscal Responsibility Act that Congress passed in June to appease GOP hardliners threatening to withhold support for raising the federal debt limit, saw a $10 billion cut to its planned FY-25 topline, the brunt of which was mostly borne by the department’s procurement accounts:

Senior DOD officials say 'out-year' growth needed to get 'back on track'

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said today that the Pentagon's plan for fiscal year 2025 has found a "smart, responsible" way to absorb billions in cuts stemming from a two-year congressional deal but stressed that growth will be needed in the coming years to counter Chinese military modernization.

The Replicator initiative, which the Pentagon announced in August, aims to field thousands of "attritable" autonomous weapon systems by February-August 2025 to counter the continued growth of the Chinese military:

Hicks says Replicator slated to be funded at $1B between FY-24 and FY-25

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks announced plans to spend around $1 billion on the Replicator initiative over fiscal years 2024 and 2025 during a budget briefing at the Pentagon.

The Army rolled out its FY-25 budget request Monday, which includes $171.7 million for 155mm ammunition and $228.6 million for research and development:

Army official says ammo production would suffer 'critical delays' without base, supplemental funding combination

The Army's goal of producing 100,000 155mm rounds per month by late fiscal year 2025 would be subject to "critical delays" without full appropriations in both FY-24 and FY-25, as well as the pending FY-24 supplemental, according to Army Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo.

The Navy's FY-25 request also looks to provide the submarine industrial base with a total of $11.1 billion across the future years defense program -- an increase of nearly $9 billion over the Navy’s prior-year budget proposed for the FYDP:

Raven: FY-25 budget's investment strategy will get Navy to two Virginia submarines per year by FY-28

A proposed multibillion-dollar spending plan for the submarine industrial base within the Navy’s fiscal year 2025 budget request, combined with a pending supplemental spending package, are expected to improve Virginia-class submarine production to a rate of two vessels per year by FY-28, according to senior Navy officials.

The Army plans to evaluate existing artillery systems instead of pursuing a new self-propelled howitzer and make a decision by fiscal year 2025:

Army to hold industry day for new self-propelled howitzer

The Army will hold an industry day on April 3 for a new self-propelled howitzer after ending development of the Extended Range Cannon Artillery system, Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo announced Monday afternoon as the service unveiled its fiscal year 2025 budget request.

Want to view all the budget documents DOD has released so far? Check out Defense Budget Alert.