Pentagon spent $5bn on weapons amid govt. shutdown

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The US Department of Defense pumped billions of dollars into contractors’ bank accounts just hours before the US government’s shutdown.

Pentagon spent $5bn on weapons amid govt

The Pentagon awarded 94 contracts Monday evening on its annual end-of-the-fiscal-year spending spree, Foreign Policy reported.

According to US military officials, about half of the Pentagon’s 800,000 civilian employees were placed on unpaid leave Tuesday after Republicans and Democrats in Congress failed to reach a deal on a spending bill for the new fiscal year.

Despite the lack of funds, more than $5 billion was spent on everything from robot submarines to Finnish hand grenades and a radar base mounted on an offshore oil platform, the report said.

The Pentagon gave $2.5 to aircraft engine-maker Pratt & Whitney for “various weapons system spare parts” used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Other highlights of the last-minute spending spree included: $65 million for military helmets from BAE Systems, $24 million for “traveling wave tubes” to amplify radio signals from Thales, $17 million for liquid nitrogen and $15 million for helium.

Lockheed Martin was paid $139 million for sonar that helps to detect submarines and underwater mines. It also dished out another $64 million to Lockheed for help operating spy satellites that are equipped with infrared cameras.

The spending shows that even when the federal government is being closed down and the military has temporarily lost half of its civilian workforce, the Pentagon can spend money like almost no one else.

Large functions of the US government shut down on Tuesday after the Democratic-led Senate voted to reject the latest proposal by the Republican-led House of Representatives that would temporarily fund the government in return for a one-year delay of President Barack Obama’s controversial healthcare plan known as Obamacare.

Source: presstv.ir

Goldman Sachs has warned that a three-week shutdown could shave as much as 0.9 percent from US gross domestic product, GDP, this quarter.

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