Projected Acquisition Costs for the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicles
This report provides CBO’s projections of the Army’s costs to acquire tanks and other ground combat vehicles through 2050. On the basis of the Army’s plans, those costs are projected to average about $5 billion annually.
The Army operates a fleet of ground combat vehicles—vehicles intended to conduct combat operations against enemy forces—and plans to continue to do so. Expanding on the Army’s stated plans, the Congressional Budget Office has projected the cost of acquiring such vehicles through 2050. Those projections include costs for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) and for procurement but not the costs of operating and maintaining the vehicles. CBO’s key findings are as follows:
Total acquisition costs for the Army’s ground combat vehicles are projected to average about $5 billion per year (in 2020 dollars) through 2050—$4.5 billion for procurement and $0.5 billion for RDT&E.
The projected procurement costs are greater (in constant dollars) than the average annual cost for such vehicles from 2010 to 2019 but approximately equal to the average annual cost from 2000 to 2019 (when spending was boosted because of operations in Iraq).
More than 40 percent of the projected acquisition costs of Army ground combat vehicles are for Abrams tanks.
Most of the projected acquisition costs are for remanufactured and upgraded versions of current vehicles, though the Army also plans to acquire an Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, which will replace the Bradley armored personnel carrier; an Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, which will replace the M113 armored personnel carrier; and a new Mobile Protected Firepower tank, which will be lighter than an Abrams tank.
The Army is also considering developing an unmanned Decisive Lethality Platform that might eventually replace Abrams tanks. That option might or might not yield considerable budgetary savings. The cost of such a vehicle is currently unknown.