Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The High Cost Of Munitions

Tobin Harshaw, Bloomberg: Nice Superweapon. Too Bad You Can't Afford to Fire It.

Talk about taking a bazooka to kill a fly: A U.S. general reported last week than an unnamed ally used a $3.4 million Patriot missile to shoot down a hostile $200 commercial drone. General David Perkins's point wasn't that this was a technically remarkable feat -- although it certainly was given the tiny target -- but to point out yet another asymmetric advantage global terrorists' hold: it costs the West an unconscionable amount of money to combat even the most basic ad-hoc threats.

For the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon stocked up on $500,000 ambush-resistant vehicles and $150,000 bomb-disposal robots for protection against improvised explosives put together for a few hundred dollars. Unmanned aircraft have proved one the most effective tools in fighting jihadis, but consider the cost of a single strike: a Reaper drone made by General Atomics has a sticker price of $17 million, costs at least $2,500 an hour to fly, and fires a $100,000 Hellfire Romeo missile made by Lockheed Martin Corp.

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WNU Editor: My best story on the high cost of munitions is .... by far .... this one .... The Ammo For The U.S. Navy Newest Destroyer Is Just Too Expensive (December 17, 2016).

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