Look What Taxpayers Bought With $3 Billion In New defence Spending

Everything has been building up to the Republican National Convention this week, where GOP leaders will debate about the best way to cut government spending. 

Meanwhile, in a significantly drier northern Virginia metropolis, the Pentagon spent a mere $3 billion last week, on a lower-than-usual weeks worth of brand new procurement contracts.  

The last time we checked in on them, the Pentagon spent around $4.6 billion on a bunch of cool new toys.

America — enjoy your recent defence purchases:

volvo backhoe construction

ZeroOne / flickr

Volvo USA gets $776 million for construction equipment Volvo’s American construction equipment wing scored a huge contract for three quarters of a billion dollars worth of equipment.

Here’s the thing though: Some of the work to build the machines is going overseas. While there will be manufacturing done in Pennsylvania, other work is being conducted in Sweden and Korea.

This could be construed as a thorn in the side of domestic manufacturers of construction equipment.

This contract is massive, but there were 14 other bidders for it. Since Volvo had the lowest bid and is exporting some of the work overseas, this contract could be controversial for people who think that defence contracts should be in America. 


The red ones are the Decoy missiles

Raytheon gets $82 million for decoy jammer missilesRaytheon is manufacturing a special kind of decoy missile that also has radio jamming capabilities.

When a fighter is being targeted by guided missiles, the decoys are deployed to draw heat away from the plane.

The missiles can also be used to confuse enemy air defence infrastructure. 

Raytheon’s missiles come with jammers, too, in order to disrupt the guidance mechanism for incoming threats. The work should be done by September, 2014.

satellite space earth

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Orbital Sciences gets $33 million for an Air Force satellite busOrbital Sciences Corp is getting $32.6 million to make a bus for a laboratory experiment platform on a satellite. 

When you picture an iconic satellite, the “bus” is the part in the centre, between the solar panels. It typically holds all of the equipment for the satellite. 

The satellite will be geostationary. This means that it orbits the earth at the same speed that the earth rotates, remaining in essentially the same spot in relation to earth. GPS satellites are geostationary. 

Either way, this is big bucks for a bus. Whatever the experiment is, the Air Force is really prioritizing it. 

lincoln aircraft carrier

Mate 3rd Class Jordon R. Beesley / US Navy

Huntington Ingalls gets $23 million for more USS Abraham Lincoln upgradesThe Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is set to undergo a round of upgrades soon.

Huntington Ingalls gets an additional $22.6 million to overhaul the reactor plants of the Lincoln, a massive task.

The supercarrier is powered by a nuclear reactor that requires consistent maintenance, and the ship is getting slightly on in years. 

Work will be done in Newport News, Virginia.

needle shot

Sarah D / flickr

Bonus Round: DARPA gives UCal $7 million for advanced vaccine researchDARPA is giving $7.3 million to the University of California San Fransisco to support the agency’s Prophecy program.

That DARPA project seeks to change the way drugs and vaccines are developed. Instead of reacting to viral outbreaks, DARPA wants a reliable way to predict and preempt international health crises.  

The program wants to figure out the key to viral evolution so that drug producers can anticipate the next phase of change in a pathogen’s evolution. 

Now, here’s what you need to know about each Aircraft Carriers in the world >

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