Special Report

The Biggest Weapons R&D Investments by the US Military This Year

18. Aqueous film-forming foam replacement, disposal and cleanup
> Total approved funding: $20 million

Aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF, was commonly used on military bases and vessels to fight fires. However, carcinogenic properties were found within the substance, and this funding is going towards disposal and cleanup of the material as well as developing a substitute.

Source: usgao / Flickr

17. Polyfluoroalkyl substances remediation and disposal
> Total approved funding: $30 million

Much like AFFF, polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a series of chemicals that the U.S. military is phasing out due to their hazardous nature. The funding goes toward remediating and disposal.

Source: Public Domain / U.S. Air Force/Joe Davila

16. National Security Space Launch research and development
> Total approved funding: $154 million

The National Security Space Launch program, also known as the NSSL, provides launch services for national security satellites. Parts of this funding go to experimental flight as well as for the restoration and maintenance of previously-used ballistics.

Source: my_public_domain_photos / Flickr

15. CH-53K Chinook development and testing
> Total approved funding: $220 million

The Chinook helicopter has been a staple of the U.S. armed forces, serving as a heavy lift and assault helicopter since the Vietnam era. Despite dating back decades, the CH-53K is still an invaluable asset. The funding goes to support continued software development and technological improvement of previous deficiencies.

Source: statephotos / Flickr

14. Israeli cooperative research
> Total approved funding: $300 million

Historically, the U.S. has cooperated with foreign nations for developing weapons systems and the Israeli cooperative research is no different. The funding is going towards David’s Sling, Arrow-3, and Iron Dome. These projects are part of Israel’s missile defense system, which is capable of intercepting planes, drones, and tactical ballistic missiles in the medium and long range.

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