GAO: Weapons Costs ‘Lowest In Decade’

Posted March 16, 2015 at 5:10am

Breaking Defense reports that “the overall cost for Pentagon’s weapons buying is at the lowest it’s been a decade, says the Government Accountability Office in its respected annual assessment of the military’s major programs.”  

“But that overall result, which might seem to cheer exponents of acquisition reform and of smaller Pentagon budgets, contains two smaller points well worth noting. The F-35 program, the biggest in the Pentagon’s profile of 78 Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP), increased in cost while the number of aircraft purchased declined. As the GAO report notes, this means the taxpayer “is paying more for the same amount of capability.”  

“Michael Sullivan, the head of defense acquisition at GAO, describes how big a slice of the Pentagon weapons budget the selected programs comprise in the letter to Congress that accompanies the report. ‘Despite the decrease in portfolio size, these 78 programs require approximately 30 percent of all development and procurement funding for all DOD acquisition programs over the next 5 years.’”