Pentagon spent $1.6 trillion on weapons in 2007: Report

April 2nd, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 2 (Xinhua) The US Defence Department’s spending on weapon systems rose to $1.6 trillion in 2007, doubling $790 billion in 2000, according to a congressional report. The acquisition costs were 26 percent higher than the original estimates in 2007, and the spending on research and development were 40 percent over the budget, according to the report released Tuesday.

Despite the higher-than-budget cost, about 72 programmes were still falling behind schedule, at a 21-month average, which include fighter jets, combat ships and satellites.

The sixth annual report on the Pentagon’s weapon programmes was prepared by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

However, the Defence Department, whose personnel and budgets have been strained by the Iraq and Afghanistan war, still plans to invest about $900 million over the next five years in weapon systems development and procurement, it added.

Gene Dodaro, GAO’s acting comptroller general, accused the defence budget “spent inefficiently in developing and procuring weapon systems”, compromising “many other internal and external budget priorities”.

“These inefficiencies delay the delivery of weapons,” he said.

In response, the Pentagon said in a statement that the department would make an informed comment after reading the report.

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