Sat Aug 3, 2019, 07:52 AM

Pentagon Tops $2 Trillion in Costs to Field Major Arms Programs

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.

Missile programs accounted for some of the largest increases, particularly because of the boost in quantities that the military services plan on buying. Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program costs increased by 113.4%, or $5.3 billion, according to report data. That boost is primarily because the Air Force now plans to buy 7,200 missiles—an increase of 4,335.

The costs of the Navy’s Standard Missile program, under contract with Raytheon Co., increased $2.7 billion, or 31.5%, to $11.5 billion, because of plans to buy 2,331 missiles, a boost of 531 from previously planned numbers.

The Army had scrapped the funding in its fiscal 2020 budget request as part of a plan to save $962 million through 2024 by cutting 28 of 68 previously planned Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. The Chinook proposal is the most controversial part of the Army’s plan to shift as much as $31 billion through 2024—which would be saved from trimming 186 existing programs and lowering troop levels—into new projects intended to position the service for a potential conventional conflict with Russia or China.

Business as usual for the MIC.

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