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US Price Tag for Week 1 of Libya Mission: $600M

But money has all come from Pentagon's existing budget
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2011 12:32 PM CDT
US Price Tag for Week 1 of Libya Mission: $600M
A USAF F-15 jet fighter maneuvers as another F-15 takes off from the NATO airbase in Aviano, Italy, Monday, March 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

(Newser) – Week one of the United States' intervention in Libya has cost us at least $600 million, according to new data from the Pentagon. That figure includes $268.8 million worth of Tomahawk cruise missiles, tens of thousands of dollars worth of precision guided bombs, and more than $60 million to replace the downed F-15E fighter jet. “Each sortie, even if it drops no munitions, is very pricey,” a member of one defense think tank tells ABC News.

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“These airplanes cost us tens of thousands of dollars to operate per hour, and the fancier you get in terms of planes, the costs get truly astounding.” To wit, three B-2 stealth bombers flew a 25-hour bombing mission from Missouri to Libya, at the cost of $10,000 per hour each (add to that another $1.3 million for the 45 Joint Direct Attack Munitions they dropped). So far, however, all the money for the operation has come out of reserves in the Pentagon’s existing budget. But if the war drags on, President Obama may need to ask Congress for more money later this year. (Read more Libya stories.)

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