The Defense Department’s FY2020 budget proposal which was included as part of President Trump’s budget proposal rolled out yesterday, calls for a total of $9.6 billion of cyber spending, up more than $1 billion from the $8.5 billion DoD cyber spending total cited by the White House in FY2019 budget documents.

In total, the FY2020 DoD budget request amounts to $718 billion, which the agency said “maintains momentum” from budget increases over the past three years “to repair damaged readiness,” and “marks a key next step in how we operationalize the 2018 National Defense Strategy.”

“Deterring or defeating great power aggression is a fundamentally different challenge than the regional conflicts involving rogue states and violent extremist organizations we faced over the last 25 years,” DoD said, and emphasized that the FY2020 budget proposal marks “a major milestone in meeting this challenge and resourcing the more lethal, agile, and innovative Joint Force America needs to compete, deter, and win in any high-end potential fight of the future.”

Among several areas of investment cited by the Pentagon are emerging space and cyber warfighting domains, along with the ability to innovate more rapidly.

Under the $9.6 billion spending umbrella for cyber in FY2020:

  • $3.7 billion will support offensive and defensive cyberspace operations;
  • $5.4 billion will reduce risks to DoD networks, systems and information by investing in more cybersecurity capabilities; and
  • $61 million will modernize DoD’s general purpose cloud environment.

On the artificial intelligence front, DoD said that $927 million will support AI and machine learning (ML) investments to expand military advantage through the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) and Advanced Image Recognition.

Elsewhere in the budget proposal, DoD said that $2.6 billion will support hypersonic weapons development, and $235 million will support laser weapons and research.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.