Thursday, September 12, 2013

How Much Will the Defense Industry Make from a Missile Strike Against Syria?

 

Even as diplomats work on a last-ditch effort to get Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to international authorities, the US gearing up to do what it does best: bomb a distant country. At this moment, six American warships are sitting in the Mediterranean, loaded with hundreds of missiles waiting to attack Syria should they get the order. If the complex, involved effort to get Bashar al-Assad to give up his chemical weapons fails and Barack Obama gives the go-ahead for a “limited” strike against his regime, those ships will let fly with hundreds of missiles—and that means the Pentagon will have to replace those weapons by purchasing them from defense contractors like Raytheon, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. How much is that going to cost?

To begin with, the US will likely want to target Syria's air force. To do that, according to a report by Christopher Harmer, a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War think tank, three types of missiles would likely be involved: Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs), Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSMs), and Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOWs).

Those kinds of missiles are a big part of what makes the US defense budget so massive. According to DefenseNews, the first few weeks of America’s intervention in Libya cost about $600 million, and more than half of that ($340 million) was spent on replacing munitions, in particular the hundreds of Tomahawk missiles it unloaded on the North African country at $1.4 million a pop. JASSMs and JSOWs are less expensive, but at about $900,000 and $285,000 apiece, respectively, they aren’t exactly a bargain.
 
For the rest of the story: http://www.vice.com/read/how-much-will-the-defense-industry-make-off-of-a-missile-strike-against-syria

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