Pentagon Tops $2 Trillion in Costs to Field Major Arms Programs (excerpt)
(Source: Bloomberg News; posted August 01, 2019)
By Roxana Tiron and Tony Capaccio
The total projected costs to field major U.S. military weapons systems topped $2 trillion in 2018, as the Pentagon planned to boost key missile and aircraft programs, according to the Defense Department’s latest annual assessment.

The new estimate puts the costs, including money already spent, in the pipeline and expected to be spent in the future, almost equal to 10% of the U.S.’s $21.3 trillion annual gross domestic product. The report looked at 87 of the Pentagon’s top weapons programs, up four from the previous year.

Quantity, scope changes and revised estimates account for most of the increases to $2.01 trillion in 2018 from $1.9 trillion in 2017, according to the summary of Selected Acquisition Reports released today.

That also explains why Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the world’s costliest weapons program, has become even more expensive.

The estimated total price for F-35 research and procurement has risen by $22 billion, according to the report, and the estimate for operating and supporting the fleet of fighters over more than six decades grew by almost $73 billion to $1.196 trillion. The increase reflects for the first time the current cost estimates for a major set of upgrades planned in forthcoming “Block 4” modifications, according to the report. Bloomberg News first reported the projected cost increase in April. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Bloomberg News website.

Click here for the SAR Report (22 PDF pages), on the Pentagon website.


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