updated 2/2/2006 7:58:28 PM ET 2006-02-03T00:58:28

President Bush next week will request a $439.3 billion Defense Department budget for 2007, a nearly 5 percent increase over this year, according to senior Pentagon officials and documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

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The spending plan would include $84.2 billion for weapons programs, a nearly 8 percent increase, including billions of dollars for fighter jets, Navy ships, helicopters and unmanned aircraft. The total includes a substantial increase in weapons spending for the Army, which will get $16.8 billion in the 2007 budget, compared with $11 billion this year.

Senior defense officials provided the totals on condition of anonymity because the defense budget will not be publicly released until Monday. The figures did not include spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the Bush administration said Thursday would total $120 billion for 2006.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld would not provide any details of the budget Thursday but called it appropriate, adding: “We have been able to fund the important things that are needed. It is a sizable amount of money.”

The budget proposal represents the fifth year in a row that spending on weapons has increased, after years of cutbacks during the 1990s.

It also provides funding for 42 Army Brigade Combat Teams as part of the ongoing effort to increase the number of combat units from 33. The expansion would allow soldiers to spend two years at their home station for every year they are deployed to a war front.

Overall, the Army would receive $111.8 billion, including $42.6 billion for personnel. The Army National Guard would receive about $5.25 billion for personnel, and the Army Reserves would receive $3.4 billion.

The documents say the budget plan will provide the funding needed to win the long war on terror, recruit and retain troops, and continue the transformation to a more agile fighting force for the 21st century.

The Army’s key weapons program, the Future Combat System, will be funded at $2.2 billion, and there will be $583 million to buy nearly 3,100 more heavily armored Humvees. The budget also includes nearly $800 million for 100 Stryker transport vehicles.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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