Source: Lexington Institute; issued September 24, 2012
(© Lexington Institute; reproduced by permission)
Last week the federal government's prestigious National Research Council released a report on ballistic missile defense that will inform policymaker decisions on funding options.
Here's how the total was arrived at. Each Patriot battalion consists of four missile and radar batteries that individually cost $184-202 million per year to operate and support. Thus, the annual cost of a full battalion is $735-809 million. The Army has 15 such battalions, so the annual cost to operate and support the entire program, both at home and abroad, is $11-12 billion. Multiply those amounts by 20 years of operations, and you get to the staggering total of $220-240 billion. And like I said, that doesn't include the cost of airlift to foreign air zones, which is covered by the Air Force budget, or R&D, which is funded outside the Army's operations and support budget.