The Pentagon stands to absorb a disproportionate share of automatic budget cuts—known in Washington as sequestration—scheduled to start March 1. With officials warning the reductions would devastate national defense, Bloomberg launched a four-part series to examine billions of dollars of weapons that include tanks the Army doesn't want, a fighter jet seven years behind schedule and 70 percent over budget and a troubled Navy ship whose costs are ballooning. The series illustrates how an alliance of uniformed services, military contractors and members of Congress protecting hometown jobs supports dubious arms designed for the last century's wars.
The Obama administration foresees 21st century wars fought with fewer boots on the ground and more drones in the air, while the Pentagon continues buying weapons from the last century. Nevertheless, the defense budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars for new generations of weapons.
He’s an anti-tax Republican representative from Ohio. She’s an anti-war Democratic senator from Washington state. Jim Jordan and Patty Murray have little in common, save this: Protecting multibillion-dollar defense projects in their states from budget cuts.
As the Pentagon faces $500 billion in spending cuts over a decade that are set to begin March 1, the $37 billion program to design and build Littoral Combat Ships may become a target for reductions that would take business from Lockheed and Austal.
Congress approaches a March 1 deadline to avert spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over nine years, half from defense. Here, in ascending order by price, are 10 of the military's most expensive weapons programs that could draw fire.