Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pro of Trump's massive defense budget: Better Super Hornet Fighters! than a few eyebrows were raised on Capitol Hill and around the world when Trump announced that he would be ramping up the defense budget- not that anyone was exactly surprised. Already, US defense accounted for 16% of its overall federal spending and far outpaced that of any other country. As the image here illustrates, the US's $611 billion budget a year ago was larger  than the next 8 countries, including China and Russia. Maybe a bit more than necessary? Not a chance!

In that spirit, the proposed 2019 defense budget will bring it up to $686 billion- an increase of 8%.
A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet breaks the sound barrier somewhere over the Philippine Sea. Super Hornets have a maximum speed of 1,200 mph -- well above the speed of soundOne Forbes contributor suggests that the larger budget may begin to restore power to the navy, which felt it had been hurt in Obama-era cuts. This may start, he suspects, with upgrading their stock of Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters, as well as those still coming off the production line. They hope to bring all Super Hornets up to "Block III" configuration and to extend their lifespan. This particular model faced adversity under the Obama administration's decreased military spending. Now, under Trump era expansion, the Navy is said to be planning a purchase of 134 Super Hornets within the next 5 years that can all travel 500 miles before needing to refuel (aka with new Block III upgrades). They will also receive improved sensors and data exchange capabilities.

Is the new budget a lot? Kind of. Is it and the Super Hornet upgrades it'll help fund unnecessary? Perhaps not. In light of escalated tensions with Russia and an upcoming and unpredictable meeting with "Little Rocket Man," what will happen next is anyone's guess. The contributing writer himself suggests that these advancements have been made more and more necessary by other countries' investments in long-rang missiles that could put our super-carriers. So why not bulk up and be on the top of our military game?

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