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US Senate Panel Approves More Funds for Missile Defence in 2021 NDAA Act

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Senate Armed Services Committee approved additional funding for missile defence, including for hypersonic weapons, in the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2021, a summary of the draft bill revealed.

The Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted 25-2 to advance the fiscal year 2021 NDAA to the Senate floor.

"The amended measure provides additional funding for missile defence priorities, including the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, components for an eight Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) battery, Homeland Defence Radar-Hawaii, and additional SM-3IIA interceptors", the summary of the draft bill said.

The bill mandates realigning weapons capabilities in the Indo-Pacific by shifting $75 million for Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) for the Air Force and adds $59.6 million for 36 Ground-Based Anti-Ship Missiles.

In addition, the bill provides $26 million for ten additional Tomahawk missiles, authorizes procuring 165 missiles and adds $35 million for ten additional LRASM to enhance US capabilities "to blunt a Chinese offensive".

The 2021 NDAA establishes the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) "to send China a strong signal" about the United States’ commitment to defend its interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

"The bill authorizes $1.4 billion for PDI in FY21, including $188.6 million above the budget request for Indo-Pacific requirements, such as missile defence, enhancing forward posture, and improving interoperability with allies and partners", the summary said.

The draft bill also provides $9.1 billion to procure 95 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, which is 14 aircraft more than the US administration requested.

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