Weapon Systems

Funding for weapons systems—which constitutes about one-third of the Department of Defense’s budget—is used to procure new systems, upgrade existing systems, and perform research, development, testing, and evaluation of new systems. CBO reviews selected weapon programs and provides a regular analysis of the long-term cost of planned weapons acquisition.

  • Interactive

    This tool allows the user to see the effects on the Department of Defense’s total operation and support costs and on the size of the military of adding or subtracting tanks, ships, aircraft, and other units.

  • Report

    CBO examines the availability and use of DoD’s F-35 fighter aircraft. This report includes findings about fleet sizes, availability rates, time spent in depot-level maintenance, flying hours, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Report

    CBO analyzes DoD’s plans for 2022 as presented in the Biden Administration’s 2022 budget request and projects how those plans would affect defense costs through 2031. Those costs would increase by 10 percent over that period, CBO projects.

  • Report

    CBO analyzes patterns in the availability and use of the Air Force’s and Department of the Navy’s aircraft since 2001. CBO also analyzes how the military aircraft have performed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Report

    CBO examined three broad options for reconfiguring the military if funding for the Department of Defense was reduced by $1 trillion (in 2022 dollars), or 14 percent, over the next 10 years.

  • Report

    CBO estimates that the Navy’s total shipbuilding budget would average between $25 billion and $33 billion (in 2021 dollars) per year through 2052 to build a force of between 398 and 512 manned ships and unmanned vessels.

  • Report

    CBO examines the availability of six Air Force aircraft fleets after large-scale maintenance performed since the mid-1990s. In most of the cases, aircraft were more available after the maintenance action than would be expected without it.

  • Report

    The military services use unmanned aerial systems (UASs) differently than manned aircraft. UASs generally have lower recurring costs per flying hour, but their cost advantage may be smaller when the cost of acquiring the aircraft is considered.

  • Report

    CBO estimates that plans for U.S. nuclear forces, as described in the fiscal year 2021 budget and supporting documents, would cost $634 billion over the 2021–2030 period, $140 billion more than CBO’s 2019 estimate for the 2019–2028 period.

  • Report

    This update of CBO’s 2016 primer on the structure of the U.S. military describes the size, functions, and operation and support costs of every major element of the armed forces.

  • Report

    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.

  • Report

    The Navy’s shipyards have experienced significant delays in completing maintenance on submarines. In this report, CBO projects that required maintenance will continue to exceed the shipyards’ capacity and examines options to reduce delays.

  • Report

    CBO examined the threat that adversaries equipped with land-attack cruise missiles might pose to the U.S. homeland and estimated the costs of several defensive systems that could be fielded to protect the United States from such attacks.

  • Report

    CBO estimated the costs of the recommendations of the 2019 Missile Defense Review, including early initiatives implemented before the report was released and expansions of missile defenses that could result from report’s directives.

  • Report

    By CBO’s calculations, the Navy’s new frigate could cost 40 percent more than the service estimates. If the Navy’s estimate proves correct, however, the frigate would be its least expensive surface combatant in the past 50 years.

  • Report

    CBO examined what the costs would be if the New START Treaty expired in February 2021 and the United States increased its nuclear forces to the levels specified in the Moscow, START II, or START I treaties, considering two approaches for each.

  • Report

    This report examines some of the challenges U.S. forces might face in a conflict in the Baltic region or the South China Sea and options for mitigating those challenges by procuring and fielding ground-launched long-range missiles.

  • Report

    Summarizing three reports about the aviation fleets of the U.S. Air Force, Army, and the Department of the Navy, CBO projects the number and costs of aircraft the Department of Defense would need to procure to maintain the fleets’ current size through 2050.

  • Report

    CBO estimates that the Navy’s plan to modernize and operate its sealift ships over the next 30 years would cost roughly $39 billion. In this report, CBO explores four alternatives that would vary in cost from $34 billion to $40 billion.

  • Report

    CBO regularly analyzes the Navy’s shipbuilding programs and produces its own estimates of the costs of new ships. CBO’s method relies on historical experience, with adjustments for rate, learning, acquisition strategy, and economic factors.

  • Report

    CBO compares the Army’s plan for the GCV with four options and finds that, although no option would meet all of the Army’s goals, all are likely to be less costly and pose a smaller risk of delay than CBO expects for the Army’s plan.

  • Report

    Between 2012 and 2041, the Navy will: purchase 20 amphibious ships at a cost of about $50 billion; retire 22 amphibious ships; and meet or exceed the 33-ship goal between 2017 and 2031 but fall below the goal the rest of the time.