Procurement: U.S. Sailors and Airmen Depend on China

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June 16, 2006: In the next year, the U.S. Navy has $11 billion to spend on building new ships. This includes one Virginia class attack submarine ( SSN, for $1.8 billion), one amphibious ship (an LHA for $1.1), an ammunition transport ship ($455 million), two LCS (Littoral Combat Ships, for $262 each) and one DD(X) destroyer ($2.6 billion). Congress has noted that DD(X) costs ten times more than LCS, which apparently means their may only be one or two DD(X) built, but over fifty LCS.

Less is being spent on aircraft, with a lot of it going to building twenty F-22s ($145 million each). More is being spent on buying fifteen C-17 transports ($199 million each). At the moment, C-17s are much more in demand than F-22s. Some $4.2 billion is being spent on development of the F-35, including building the first four aircraft ($140 each). The first aircraft are always more expensive than the production versions.

Because the army is seen as getting the most done in the war on terror, the navy and air force are not getting as much money as they used to. The ships and aircraft don't have anyone to fight, although the Pentagon is trying to portray China as a future foe that would require lots of expensive ships and aircraft to take care of.

 


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