Congress forcing expensive, unnecessary, unwanted weapons systems on Pentagon

You know military budgeting is totally out of control when Congress is forcing the Pentagon to take ridiculously expensive weapons systems even the generals and admirals say they don’t need or want.

Wired.com reports:

Then there’s money for 30 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters: eight more than the Department of Defense requested. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who introduced the amendment, said the extra aircraft (like the one pictured here) would “help address a looming fighter shortfall for the Navy’s carrier fleet.”

So much for austerity in naval budgets. [Secretary of Defense] Gates, as readers will recall, has already suggested that the Navy needs to take a hard look at whether it is right-sized — and whether it needs to keep 11 carrier strike groups for the next three decades. House authorizers, however, said their $65 billion recommendation for Navy and Marine Corps procurement was aimed at “reversing the decline in the Navy battle force fleet.”

The bill approved last night included $5.1 billion to fund two Virginia‐class submarines — the first time the committee has ever authorized two of the boats in one year — plus another $1.7 billion for advance procurement of two additional hulls in FY 2012. Members also recommended $3 billion to fully fund two DDG 51 Arleigh Burke‐class destroyers and $1.5 billion to pay for two Littoral Combat Ships (which, it’s worth recalling, were originally supposed to cost around a quarter billion dollars apiece).

The panel also added $361.6 million above the budget request for ballistic missile defense.

Posted by James on Friday, May 21, 2010