US Department of Defence arms contracts

US DoD spend on small arms to Afghanistan revealed – The DoD archives

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.

On the US Department of Defense website it is possible to access the contract archive. On here the DoD announces contracts over $7 million. In the archives you can find contracts from as early as October 1994.

The DoD have informed AOAV that the contract announcements should include:

  • Contract number, modification number, and/or task/delivery order number
  • Face value of the action
  • Total cumulative value of the contract
  • Description of what is being procured
  • Contract type
  • Whether the procurement included foreign military sales (FMS)
  • If FMS included, the FMS customer
  • Number of solicitations mailed
  • Number of offers received
  • Contractor name and address
  • Place of Performance
  • Type of appropriation
  • Fiscal year of the funds
  • Identification of multiyear contracts (see FAR 17.1)
  • Government contracting office and POC
  • Any known congressional interest
  • Information release date

What was most applicable in AOAV’s research into small arms contracts for Afghanistan was that the DoD often gave details on what was being bought, including weapon types, ammunition calibre or type of attachment and sometimes who to.

However, though the DoD have told us these data elements should be included this, through our research this was found to not always be the case. For example, when researching the contracts for Afghanistan listed in the DoD Inspector General report, 4 of the 5 contracts that were listed on the DoD did not mention the FMS customer (Afghanistan) – they did not even indicate that the procurement included FMS at all.

During AOAV cross-comparison between the FPDS and DoD, we did find the DoD archives also had quite severe limitations. The contract database has not, for at least the last 4 months, been searchable, which means you can only access the contracts by going through them month by month, year by year. It is also problematic that only contracts worth $7 million and over can be found. Overspend and unfulfilled contracts cannot be seen from the DoD database either.

From AOAV’s research on the DoD contract archives we found there to be $4.3 billion spent on small arms, their ammunition and attachments in total between September 11 2001 – September 11 2015. Of this, $180 million were contracts issued for the government of Afghanistan; $23 million for small arms, and $157 million for ammunition.

However, the FPDS shows that for ‘guns through 30mm’ between the same dates the total contracts amount to $5.4 billion, and for those to Afghanistan the contracts appear to be worth $456 million.

Below are the contracts that can be found on the DoD archives that show small arms being procured for Afghanistan. (The FPDS totals are also shown.)

AFGHANISTAN SMALL ARMS (unknown number of M2HBs and 1,212 M24s)

W52H09-08-C-0218; Firm fixed price contract to purchase M2HB nonstandard machines for Afghanistan. [27-Sept-08]

DoD total: $14,001,700; FPDS total: $14,001,700

W56HZV-11-D-0049; 1,212 M24 sniper rifles with bipods to the government of Afghanistan. [5-Jan-11]

DoD total: $8,914,609; FPDS total: $17,465,298


W52P1J-06-C-0044; for various types of non-standard ammunition with the work performed in Afghanistan. [27-Sept-15]

DoD total: $9,357,586; FPDS total: $16,733,138

W52P1J-08-C-0049; for Non-Standard Ammunition – PG-7VM 70.5mm, 12.7 x 108mm Links, and 12.7 x 108mm PPL (the PPL round is a squib cartridge used to generate gas pressure to forward the chamber one round). Rounds are for the Government of Afghanistan. [23-Jan-09]

DoD total: $5,607,468; FPDS total: $9,075,287

W52P1J-09-C-0060; for a non-standard ammunition for the government of Afghanistan and U.S. Forces. [30-Sept-09]

DoD total: $105,820,739; FPDS total: $220,407,124

W52P1J-09-C-0061; for the procurement and delivery of non-standard ammunition for the government of Afghanistan. [1-July-11]

DoD total: $36,763,128; FPDS total: $178,609,134