What would the money be spent on?


My Defense Reforms Proposals Package (DRPP) was published on this blog 5 times (the 4 newest editions are revised editions). I’ve calculated that my proposals, if implemented, would result in huge annual savings. I cannot calculate the exact total annual savings because I do not have sufficient data, but just several of my reforms, if combined together, would yield a total annual saving of $60.269 bn dollars. That is $482.152 bn over an 8-year administration, assuming that a future US Administration would implement these several proposals. Additionally, replacing all MH-60 helos and all UH-1 Huey helos with the same helicopter type would yield a one-time saving, $600 mn.

These huge savings beg the question: what would they be spent on? My answer is: if I was the USSECDEF, I’d spend 100% of these savings on equipment (specifically, equipment procurement and equipment RDTE). I’d spend the exact calculated savings on the following purposes:

1) 1340 additional F-35s (on top of the 2443 planes already ordered by the US military) (including 45 F-35s to replace 45 F-16s that were retired in 2005, 55 F-35s to reconstitute 2 squadrons, 55 F-35s to reconstitute a fighterplane wing that was retired unreplaced, 635 F-35s to replace 635 obsolete aircraft (224 F-15Es, over 120 F-15C/Ds, and hundreds of A-10s), and 550 F-35s to expand the USAF. The cost: $111.22 bn.

2) 85 additional C-17s (to replace all the retired C-141s and to replace all C-5s, which were deployed during the 1960s, not to expand the cargoplane fleet). The cost: $17 bn.

3) 9 new warhead types (assuming that the NNSA and the American nuclear arsenal, as well as their budgets, would be transferred from the DOE to the DOD). The cost: $1.152 bn.

4) 50 additional MMIII ICBMs to replace the 50 MMIII ICBMs that were retired unreplaced in 2008. They were cannibalized for spare parts, which the USAF desperately needed to maintain the rest of its ICBM fleet. Their 50 silos are empty.

5) 5 additional SSBNs to rebuild the number of SSBNs back to 19. The cost: $7.5 bn ($1.5 bn per submarine)

6) 203 (141+62) Chinook helicopters to replace all MH-60 CSAR helos and all Huey helicopters. Such a common replacement type would yield a saving of $600 mn. The cost would be $2.71411 bn.

7) 40 additional Arleigh Burke class BMD vessels to defend America and its allies (including Israel and Arab states) from ballistic missiles (including Iranian ballistic missiles). This would be undisputably my biggest weapon order. The cost: $60 bn.

8) 3 additional hospital ships which could be used e.g. during hurricane seasons. The cost: $2.1 bn.

9) 129 Super Hercules planes to expand the cargoplane fleet. The cost: $8.5785 bn.

10) 23 additional CV-22 CSAR planes to replace the 22 MH-53 CSAR helos which were retired unreplaced and 1 CV-22 plane that crashed in 2010. The cost: $1.564 bn.

11) 35 additional San Antonio class LPDs (to retire the 35 LPDs which will retire unreplaced because the treasonous politicians on capitol hill severely reduced the orders for San Antonio class LPDs). The cost: $24.5 bn.

12) 35 submarines to replace the 35 submarines (of the LA class and the Seawolf class) that will retire unreplaced unless orders for submarines are increased. The cost: $61.25 bn.

13) 402 additional F-18E/Fs to replace the 2 F-18s that crashed last year and the 400 F-18s that will retire unreplaced because of Obama’s defense cuts. The cost: $22.1904 bn.

14) 14*15 + 14 additional ground-based interceptors. The cost: $15.68 bn.

15) 55 additional MH-47 helos to expand the CSARH fleet. The cost: $715 mn.

16) A program to modernize all C-5As (including a sub-program to replace all engines of all C-5As). The cost: $9.990 bn.

17) 39 additional CV-22s to replace 39 C-2 Greyhound aircraft. The cost: $2.652 bn.

18) The submarines SSN-21 and SSN-22 should be modified (by adding a Multi-Mission Platform to them) to become able to launch Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and commandos. The cost: $1.774 bn.

19) All RG-31s should be replaced with RG-33 MRAP vehicles. The cost: $600 mn.

20) Many additional weapon programs.

The total cost would be just $351.18001 bn over 8 years, and 100% of it would be paid for with the known savings that would be yielded by my defense reforms ($482.152 bn). The procurement costs mentioned above (all stated in 2010 dollars), if spread over 8 years, would amount to only $43.89750125 bn per year (plus an additional $2.4 bn dollar annual cost of maintaining additional 20 USAF wings, including 12 fighterplane wings, 1 CSARH wing and 7 Super Hercules wings), whereas the savings would amount to $60.269 bn per year. That means I could invest sufficient funds in 14 different procurement programs and replace many obsolete weapons at no additional cost to American taxpayers. I wouldn’t even need an above-inflation-rate budget hike from the DOD.

2 thoughts on “What would the money be spent on?”

  1. I’m sorry, but your defense spending program is just a spending program.

    1) 1340 additional F-35s (on top of the 2443 planes already ordered by the US military) (including 45 F-35s to replace 45 F-16s that were retired in 2005, 55 F-35s to reconstitute 2 squadrons, 55 F-35s to reconstitute a fighterplane wing that was retired unreplaced, 635 F-35s to replace 635 obsolete aircraft (224 F-15Es, over 120 F-15C/Ds, and hundreds of A-10s), and 550 F-35s to expand the USAF. The cost: $111.22 bn.

    If you and so many others are so adamant that the F-35 is a fatally flawed design, then why double-down on the stupidity of fielding it to begin with by purchasing more airframes. If this weapon system is so unaffordable and un-maintainable as to detract from our military readiness against an equivalently capable military threat, why should we purchase more airframes? Why not use the savings from not purchasing more aiframes to give the pilots we do have more flight hours in airframes we’ve already committed to purchasing. With equivalently matched combat capabilities, victory is generally determined by who has the most training and experience.

    2) 85 additional C-17s (to replace all the retired C-141s and to replace all C-5s, which were deployed during the 1960s, not to expand the cargoplane fleet). The cost: $17 bn.

    A C-17 can’t transport more than one M1. Are we going to purchase a C-17 for each M1 tank that we need to rapid deploy?

    Although I think a light ground combat element to seize objectives while heavy forces to hold objectives make their way into theater is a national security imperative, I don’t think purchase of more C-17’s would assist with that objective. The plane is not low-observable, it requires prepared airfields, and it has an impressive logistics tail of its own. Development and fielding of up-rated engines would improve performance, but it’s a medium lift asset that brings no unique capabilities to the table.

    3) 9 new warhead types (assuming that the NNSA and the American nuclear arsenal, as well as their budgets, would be transferred from the DOE to the DOD). The cost: $1.152 bn.

    We need new nuclear warheads like we need another multi-trillion dollar handout program. The existing arsenal is more than enough to render the entire world uninhabitable by humans. What further level of destruction is required?

    4) 50 additional MMIII ICBMs to replace the 50 MMIII ICBMs that were retired unreplaced in 2008. They were cannibalized for spare parts, which the USAF desperately needed to maintain the rest of its ICBM fleet. Their 50 silos are empty.

    Only 50 empty silos? How many additional hundreds of billions would be saved by getting rid of static land-based ICBM’s entirely? These things are accidents or terrorist attacks waiting to happen.

    5) 5 additional SSBNs to rebuild the number of SSBNs back to 19. The cost: $7.5 bn ($1.5 bn per submarine)

    Are we having operational issues with the existing fleet? This may have some merit if we are. If not, it’s pork.

    6) 203 (141+62) Chinook helicopters to replace all MH-60 CSAR helos and all Huey helicopters. Such a common replacement type would yield a saving of $600 mn. The cost would be $2.71411 bn.

    You’re going to save $600M by spending $2.7B+? Does that figure include the support costs for more CH-47’s? Did you attend the congressional school of mathematics? I think the UH-1 and UH-60 variants are dated designs, but the CH-47 variants are even more dated designs with worse performance characteristics and they consume more deck space when not in use. It’s a poor substitute for the existing MH-60’s. I have no idea why the UH-1 is still in service, but it is.

    7) 40 additional Arleigh Burke class BMD vessels to defend America and its allies (including Israel and Arab states) from ballistic missiles (including Iranian ballistic missiles). This would be undisputably my biggest weapon order. The cost: $60 bn.

    More targets for the enemy to launch supersonic cruise missiles at?

    8) 3 additional hospital ships which could be used e.g. during hurricane seasons. The cost: $2.1 bn.

    Good idea.

    9) 129 Super Hercules planes to expand the cargoplane fleet. The cost: $8.5785 bn.

    Why not get rid of the entire Hercules fleet altogether and replace it with low-observable transports capable of operating over modern battlefields?

    10) 23 additional CV-22 CSAR planes to replace the 22 MH-53 CSAR helos which were retired unreplaced and 1 CV-22 plane that crashed in 2010. The cost: $1.564 bn.

    Apart from its inability to extract from confined terrain, the CV-22’s lack the armament, armor, and poor combat radius are why we still have MH-53’s. The V-22’s cost nearly double what the MH-53’s cost to boot.

    11) 35 additional San Antonio class LPDs (to retire the 35 LPDs which will retire unreplaced because the treasonous politicians on capitol hill severely reduced the orders for San Antonio class LPDs). The cost: $24.5 bn.

    A dozen of these over-priced targets is more than enough. If they were equipped with more than limited defensive armament and specialized in either transport by air or transport by sea, this platform might have made more sense. This class costs double what it was projected to cost and although the sensor suite and armament is an improvement over what was, it’s not enough and it’s not going to determine the outcome of any battle. The sensors and weapon systems could have been retrofitted to existing ships.

    What America really needed was miniature aircraft carriers designed to launch and recover V-22’s and F-35B’s. Instead, the San Antonio class is what we received.

    12) 35 submarines to replace the 35 submarines (of the LA class and the Seawolf class) that will retire unreplaced unless orders for submarines are increased. The cost: $61.25 bn.

    35 submarines of what class? Intended to do what, exactly?

    13) 402 additional F-18E/Fs to replace the 2 F-18s that crashed last year and the 400 F-18s that will retire unreplaced because of Obama’s defense cuts. The cost: $22.1904 bn.

    More doesn’t mean better if you can’t afford to own and operate.

    14) 14*15 + 14 additional ground-based interceptors. The cost: $15.68 bn.

    These ground-based interceptors are a waste of money. Rail guns and lasers are the future. You can afford to vaporize all the decoys, real warheads, and miss, and the nation can continue to function. Hitting a hypersonic bullet with a hypersonic bullet is damn hard. Yes, it can be done. At what cost?

    15) 55 additional MH-47 helos to expand the CSARH fleet. The cost: $715 mn.

    As previously explained, poor platform choice.

    16) A program to modernize all C-5As (including a sub-program to replace all engines of all C-5As). The cost: $9.990 bn.

    If we’re going to keep using he C-5’s, then I agree.

    17) 39 additional CV-22s to replace 39 C-2 Greyhound aircraft. The cost: $2.652 bn.

    Really poor platform choice. The Navy should bring back the S-3 Viking to replace the E2-C’s and C-2A’s. Range is equivalent, a cargo variant of the S-3 could actually carry an engine for the F-35, and there’s a slight speed improvement over the existing solution.

    18) The submarines SSN-21 and SSN-22 should be modified (by adding a Multi-Mission Platform to them) to become able to launch Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and commandos. The cost: $1.774 bn.

    I thought we already did that.

    19) All RG-31s should be replaced with RG-33 MRAP vehicles. The cost: $600 mn.

    If the Army wants improved MRAP’s, then it can quit leaving them in Iraq and quit giving them to the police. We already have an improved MRAP, it’s called the M113.

    20) Many additional weapon programs.

    How about many additional training programs and actually taking care of our veterans?

    The total cost would be just $351.18001 bn over 8 years, and 100% of it would be paid for with the known savings that would be yielded by my defense reforms ($482.152 bn). The procurement costs mentioned above (all stated in 2010 dollars), if spread over 8 years, would amount to only $43.89750125 bn per year (plus an additional $2.4 bn dollar annual cost of maintaining additional 20 USAF wings, including 12 fighterplane wings, 1 CSARH wing and 7 Super Hercules wings), whereas the savings would amount to $60.269 bn per year. That means I could invest sufficient funds in 14 different procurement programs and replace many obsolete weapons at no additional cost to American taxpayers. I wouldn’t even need an above-inflation-rate budget hike from the DOD.

    There are technical and operational reasons why some of your suggestions won’t work very well or won’t work at all. Beyond that, could you explain your math for your estimate of operational costs?

    1. This was many years ago. Today I would spend the money differently. For starters, I’d terminate the useless F-35 program.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s