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The Costs of Pentagon Weapons, Including Those Supplied to Ukraine, Are Skyrocketing

March 18, 2024 (EIRNS)—The cost of the weapons that the U.S. is supplying to the Kiev regime is skyrocketing, according to a March 16 report in Business Insider, though the inflation in prices has been going on since well before the start Russia’s special military operation.

For starters, Business Insider singles out the M982 Excalibur, a guided 155mm artillery shell that has been supplied to Ukraine. Insider reports that the operating and support costs for the Excalibur nearly doubled, between 2011 and 2022, to roughly $100,000 per shell, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. “Operating and support (O&S) costs historically account for approximately 70% of a weapon system’s total life-cycle cost, which is the cost to operate and sustain the system from initial operations through the end of its life,” GAO explained. “Included in the costs are repair parts, depot and field maintenance, contract services, engineering support, and personnel, among other things.”

Business Insider notes that the DOD was required to report on 25 Army, Navy and Air Force programs. However, GAO only received adequate data for 16 of them. Of those, seven had critical O&S increases. This meant a weapon either experienced a 25% increase in operating and support costs over cost estimates in prior years, or at least a 50% increase since the weapon was originally fielded.

The Army estimated that O&S costs for the Excalibur—first deployed in 2007—had soared 183% since a baseline estimate of costs in 2011! The Army blamed the increase on two factors: buying more shells than originally anticipated—which, in turn, raised maintenance costs—and hardware and software upgrades, such as “advanced positioning and navigation technologies.” The cost for Excalibur has been estimated at around $100,000 per round, compared to about $3,000 for an unguided 155mm shell. Business Insider names several other weapons systems with cost growths ranging from 32% to an astounding 647%.