US Department of Defence arms contracts

US DoD spend on small arms to Afghanistan revealed – US Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) request reports

This report is part of AOAV’s investigation into the DoD’s small arms expenditure during the War on Terror. Our research found many discrepancies between the contracts published on the DoD’s website and those found on the Federal Procurement Database System- research that can be read here. For information on what a small arm is, please see here. To understand more about US DoD contracts visit here. The investigation also included an examination of US expenditure for small arms for Iraq, which can be read here, and Afghanistan, see here.

The US OCO request reports have been released by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in regard to the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund and are available from the Army Financial Management website. These review documents allow us to see what weapons were requested for each year under the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF). They detail the type of weapon, the amount of each, the unit cost and the total cost.

Though these reports extend to 2017, according to these reports no funds for small arms (including their attachments and ammunition) have been procured for Afghanistan as part of the ASFF since 2013, or at least recorded in these reports.

It is also the case that, these documents were found in the Army Financial Management documents, however, 2008 appears to be missing and for 2009 only the supplemental report is available. It is sometimes possible to see these figures for previous years in other reports. However, the small arms figures for 2008 appear to constantly be missing.

Other figures for 2009 are available in other reports; though do not go into detail in regard all the weapon types, the quantity or the unit cost. As the supplemental report gives a ‘Fiscal Year 2009 Total’, the supplemental report has been used to account for the procurement that took place in 2009.

For some years, the total amount enacted for the previous year may presented and when they are they often appear different to what has been recorded; sometimes they are more, other times they are less. This may be due to overspend or other unrecorded/unpublished costs but the reporting of the total enacted is sporadic. Hence, only the figures for each year as cited in the years corresponding document have been cited. This however means that our total findings from the OCO reports may be slightly over or under the true figure, due to the unaccounted for inconsistencies between reports.

The findings from the reports were compiled into a spreadsheet so the data could be analysed. The total that could be accumulated from these reports, suggests that between 2007 and 2013, the DoD spent $461,863,000 on small arms (including attachments and ammunition) for the ASFF. On small arms, not including attachments and ammunition the total was $352,472,000.

The findings from these reports show that 314,662 small arms (totalling $352,472,000) were procured between 2007 and 2013 – of which 95,981 ($59,215,000) were AK47s.

The most was spent in 2007 when $200,483,000 was spent in total on small arms, their ammunition and attachments. Almost $57,000,000 of this (28%) was spent on 47,427 M16A2s.

These reports also show us the unit cost of each weapon – which often differs each year. We can see from the reports that the DoD typically spent $7000 on each M24 sniper rifle, whereas the price the DoD would spend on each M2 .50 Calibre Machine Gun ranged from less than $8000 to over $25,000.

This gives us an insight into the amount spent on each small arm unit and into the competitiveness for contracts that should keep prices roughly the same throughout a conflict.


For the data on 14 years of DoD contracts for small arms, ammunition and attachments, please go here.