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$29 billion in aid: how the United States will save the defense industry

WASHINGTON, (BM) – Republicans in the United States have presented their aid package in the fight against COVID-19 in the amount of $ 1 trillion, of which it is proposed to spend $ 29 billion on defense. At the same time, $ 7 billion will be spent on weapons programs alone. What areas do the Republicans plan to save, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: The coronavirus is ‘slowly killing’ the planned deliveries of F-35s for 2020

The 177-page Republican Appropriation Bill, unveiled on July 27, includes funding for the production of combat helicopters, aircraft, ships and missile defense systems, Defense News writes.

The bill also includes $ 11 billion in reimbursement for payments to defense contractors, as required by section 3610 of the CARES Act, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security.

Defense firms and trade associations lobbied for such funding, fearing that otherwise the Pentagon would have to use the accounts for modernization and combat readiness.

The promulgation of this law marks the end of weeks of disputes between the White House and Republicans in the US Congress, who are divided over its cost, and launches official negotiations with Democrats.

“The American people need more help. They need it to be comprehensive. And the Americans need such a bill to be carefully adapted to today’s difficult times,” Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Senator from Kentucky since 1985) said at a Senate meeting on Monday.

The inclusion of defense spending, which Republicans called essential to the economy and national defense, was just one aspect criticized by Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, who said the overall package was insufficient to protect Americans.

“If all this were not so bad, the bill would contain billions of dollars in programs not related to coronavirus, including more than $ 8 billion for what appears to be the list of wishes of the US Department of Defense for the production of aircraft, ships and other weapons systems,” said Patrick Leahy.

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has led to a slowdown in arms production, the temporary closure of a number of defense enterprises and problems with financial flows, especially for small firms.

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The Pentagon has worked closely with the US defense industry in this regard, mostly making billions of dollars in advance payments to contractors.

Earlier, the US Congress has already allocated $ 10.5 billion to the US Department of Defense in accordance with the CARES Act.

The “prima” of the US military-industrial complex – Boeing and Lockheed Martin – are the main beneficiaries in receiving funds under the bill proposed by the Republicans.

The document will provide more than $ 1 billion for the production of the US Navy’s Boeing P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft. This vehicle is designed to detect and destroy enemy submarines in areas of patrol, reconnaissance, participation in anti-ship and rescue operations – both in coastal areas and in the World Ocean. It is based on the design of the updated Boeing 737-800 airliner.

The Air Force will receive $ 686 million for additional fifth-generation, stealth fighter-bombers Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, $ 720 million for the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft [Hercules are the most common military transport aircraft in the world, more than 2,600 of them have already been manufactured] and $ 650 million for replacing the wings of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, for which Boeing has already signed a contract (the program involves replacing the wings on 112 aircraft within five years with the possibility of extending the program for another the next two years).

Funds for shipbuilding include $ 1.45 billion for four expeditionary hospital ships, $ 260 million for one expeditionary high-speed transport vessel (capable of transporting soldiers with equipment or comparable cargo to a battalion at a minimum distance of 1000-1200 nautical miles), $ 250 million for an amphibious shipbuilding and $ 250 million for the basic program of advanced surface ships.

Read more: The US will resume military exercises in Europe despite coronavirus

The US Ground Forces will receive another $ 375 million for the production of a new generation of Double V-Hull Strykers armored personnel carriers from General Dynamics Land Systems [one of the features of the Double V-Hull modification is a double V-shaped bottom, which significantly improves the protection of armored vehicles when exploded by land mines and mines] and $ 283 million for the new AH-64 Apache Block IIIB multipurpose attack helicopters.

The AH-64D Apache Block III’s ability to directly control unmanned aerial vehicles and receive real-time data greatly expands the combat capabilities of the helicopter.

More than $ 300 million will be allocated to Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system and Raytheon’s AN / TPY-2 radar.

The AN / TPY-2 radar is a mobile X-band radar, which is an important element for BMDS (Ballistic Missile Defense System) – a ballistic missile defense system, part of the US national missile defense strategy. AN / TPY-2 can transmit information to the AN / MPQ-53 firing radar of the MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 system. The AN / TPY-2 mobile radar is characterized by an extended search range and tracking of ballistic missiles of all classes.

An additional $ 200 million will be used to extend the life of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), for which Boeing is the main contractor. GMD is the US strategic missile defense complex, commissioned in 2005. It is designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles and their warheads in outer space outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Currently, 44 interceptor missiles have been deployed in Alaska and California to protect the continental United States.

More than $ 300 million will be allocated to Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system and Raytheon’s AN / TPY-2 radar. The AN / TPY-2 radar is a mobile X-band radar, which is an important element for BMDS (Ballistic Missile Defense System) – a ballistic missile defense system, part of the US national missile defense strategy.

AN / TPY-2 can transmit information to the AN / MPQ-53 firing radar of the MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 system. The AN / TPY-2 mobile radar is characterized by an extended search range and tracking of ballistic missiles of all classes.

An additional $ 200 million will be used to extend the life of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), for which Boeing is the main contractor. GMD is the US strategic missile defense complex, commissioned in 2005.

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It is designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles and their warheads in outer space outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Currently, 44 interceptor missiles have been deployed in Alaska and California to protect the continental United States.

“One gets the impression that the fight against COVID-19 in the US military-industrial complex is supposed not only, figuratively speaking, with the help of pills and injections, but with a dramatically accelerated infusion of funds. In most cases, this will really provide real help both in preventing the disruption of the serial production of already used weapons and in supporting promising developments,” explained a military expert.

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