Monday, July 9, 2012

EconomyWorld— 09 July 2012
If You’re An American Taxpayer, These Are Your Most Recent Defense Purchases
Walter Hickey
Not even the Fourth of July could stop the Pentagon from an absolutely massive week of defense spending.
Stuck indoors due to the massive heatwave sweeping the nation, the Department of Defense spent more than $9.2 billion in a mere four days. That’s up from $4 billion the week before.
But we did our best to find the most compelling contracts of the 90 concluded in the first week of July and see where the money went. America…enjoy your recent purchases:
$6 billion spent on commercial shipping
The shipping companies who received the largest deals were Maersk Line Ltd ($2.1B), American President Lines ($1.7B), American Roll-On Roll-off carrier ($553M), Farrell Lines Inc. ($565M), and Liberty Global Logistics LLC ($362M).
While the companies refused to provide additional details due to the confidentiality of contracts, one company we called graciously confirmed that they were moving around equipment for the Department of Defense.
The U.S. Transportation Command, the contracting branch, has never issued contracts of this magnitude in recent memory.
So, why the spending? It could have to do with the ends of the wars in the Middle East, and the need to bring back some supplies stateside. Still, nobody is talking.
$500 million to Boeing for the C-17 transition
The Department of Defense decided that they’re probably not going to need too many more of Boeing‘s C-17 jet.
So, to make sure that the transition from “making C-17s” to “not making C-17s” goes as smoothly as possible, they awarded Boeing a half-billion dollar contract.
The production facility in Long Beach California will likely have to have some changes, and Boeing is likely still responsible for parts, maintenance, and upkeep of the C-17 fleet for a while. Still, that’s a heck of a severance package.
Another $213 million for the ship-to-shore connector landing craft
The Navy is looking for the replacement to their current fleet of ship-to-shore landing craft.
Currently, the Navy’s got hovercrafts — “air cushioned vehicles” — that ferry troops to shore, and they’re evidently nearing the end of their shelf life.
So, Textron was awarded $213 million to design and build the next generation of landing craft. The contract has included options which could bring the total value to $570 million.
$146 million worth of Boeing weaponry for foreign arms deals
The world needs a lot of military gear this week, and the Department of Defense wants Boeing to build it for them.
The main item: The Harpoon missile, an anti-ship cruise missile that the United States has sold to dozens of nations.
Saudi Arabia and India are getting twenty and twenty-one tactical all-up missile rounds, respectively. Each is also getting practice rounds and guidance systems.
The Republic of Korea is getting two captive air training missiles, and shipping containers are going to Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, India, and Korea.
Bits of Harpoon hardware are going to Australia, Korea, Japan, Canada, Chile, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Here’s the takeaway: The U.S. is ensuring that each of the major south Pacific powers with the sole exception of China are well-armed with American missile tech.
Moreover the U.S. making sure the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — who both need the Strait of Hormuz to stay open — are armed to the teeth with anti-ship missiles.

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