Pentagon reports costs to field major arms programs reaches USD 2tn

The Pentagon has announced that, as it plans to boost key missile and aircraft programs, the total projected costs to field major US military weapons systems topped USD 2 trillion in 2018, the Pentagon said.

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 US ´s USD 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 USD 2.01 trillion in 2018 from USD 1.9 trillion in 2017, according to the summary of Selected Acquisition Reports.

That 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 USD 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 USD 73 billion to USD 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.