US military contractors are spending an astonishing $30.3 billion to equip their soldiers with new and improved weaponry, including new homeostatic mechanics for their weapons systems, a report from the Government Accountability Office reveals.
The report also found that $3.7 billion went toward equipment upgrades to combat fatigue, which is a hallmark of combat fatigue.
The GAO report is the latest sign that the US has reached a critical mass of equipment that it believes will be able to effectively combat combat and defeat any and all threats to the nation’s security.
“These investments are critical for the nation to stay competitive in a world where the threat of cyberattacks and other adversarial actions are increasing,” said Senator John Cornyn, the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I believe these investments are necessary to ensure that our military can stay ready to defend the nation.”
The report says that the $30-billion equipment and software budget has been largely earmarked for the military’s existing weapon systems, while another $2.2 billion has been allotted for equipment that could be applied to other departments and agencies.
The military has received more than $1.6 trillion in weapon systems in the last 30 years.
The vast majority of the equipment is outdated and does not work properly, according to the report.
The Pentagon has a backlog of about 40,000 weapons systems and more than 2,200 munitions that are not in service, the GAO found.
“The Department of Defense has struggled to meet the demands of our military and is at a significant technological and organizational deficit, and Congress must ensure that these challenges are addressed through investments that improve capabilities and enable us to maintain and enhance our current readiness,” said Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a statement.
“As our capabilities and capabilities improve, we will have the resources and capacity to meet future threats and keep our military strong, ready and agile.”
The GAOT report also says that “all U.S. departments and defense agencies have committed to the acquisition of homeostatically regulated mechanical components, and the Army and Air Force have been among the earliest to procure these technologies.”
The Pentagon’s request for proposals (RFP) for the equipment was made on April 27, 2017, but it will likely take several years before the Pentagon can begin fielding the products, the report says.
“While the Department of defense has a very strong record of making progress on this procurement program, the RFP is still in its early stages,” the report said.
“This is due to numerous factors, including significant uncertainty around key technology and manufacturing technologies, as well as the need for significant additional time to ensure the RFI is fully evaluated and fielded.”
It added that the military was also unable to find any suppliers that would be able and willing to fulfill the requirements of the Pentagon’s RFP.