Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ball Bearings: $104 each

Super Hornet
Among recent weapons contracts of Woodstock's military contractor is one dated August 16 to supply the U.S. Navy with 24 ball bearings at $104 each. Webflis (see this post) tells us that these high-end ball bearings are specifically destined the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet multirole fighter aircraft, built by Boeing, which played a significant part in the war on Iraq. The high cost of these ball bearings (a "critical application item" according to the contract) is put in context by noting that the Defense Department's FY2013 budget includes $2.6 billion for 37 new Super Hornets, which works out at about $70 million per aircraft. The DoD also budgets some $18 million for spare parts for the Super Hornet, presumably including this contract, which thus represents a tiny drop in the great murky sea of so-called "defense" contracts. Once again Woodstock provides a small window into the world of military procurement.

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