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War costs

NATO war costs at $65 million daily

Monday, 17 May 1999

(UPI Focus)

LONDON, May 17 (UPI) - British television station Sky News reports that NATO nations are spending an estimated $65 million daily in the alliance war against Yugoslavia.

Based on data generated by Paul Beaver of the journal Jane's Defence Weekly, the television station reports calculations include those based on flying hour costs and ordinance replacement at 1999 prices.

The information was also based on what was described as "regular flying training patterns, overseas allowances and other incidental costs."

According to Beaver, also Sky News's defense analyst, U.S. costs include "emergency contracts" with the Boeing Corp.

While the exact cost of those contracts is not yet known, the work involves nuclear warhead removal for 92 air-launched cruise missiles and replacement with conventional high-explosive warheads.

That work is estimated to cost "extra millions of dollars."

Meanwhile, Jane's Defence Weekly reports its U.S. Air Force sources say that they would like to convert a further 230 missiles by next January.

The United States has about 95 air-launched cruise missiles and 2,005 ship-launched Tomahawks left in the inventory.

Calculations of the cost to Canada are based on Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien telling Parliament that after four weeks of airstrikes, Canada's war effort had already cost $33 million (U.S. dollars).

Canada has deployed 18 CF-18 strike aircraft to Aviano, Italy, and is supporting them with other flights from Ontario, and further Canadian deployments are expected.

The French Ministry of Defense has publicly allocated up to $50 million monthly for its participation in NATO operations against Yugoslavia.

French participation includes up-keep of an armored brigade of some 2,600 soldiers.

France has also committed a considerable force of strike aircraft, tankers and the aircraft carrier Foch, which last week was withdrawn temporarily for repairs.

Sky News today notes British Defense Secretary George Robertson told Parliament last week extra costs tied to its NATO action in Yugoslavia were up to $28 million from March 24 to April 8, but that these costs did not include the expenses of new bombs and missiles used over Yugoslavia.

Beaver also says the purchase of an additional batch of 30 Tomahawk Block IIID cruise missiles for the Royal Navy's submarine fleet has been approved, at a cost of $1.2 million each in a total package of $100 million.

Copyright 1999 by United Press International
All rights reserved

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