US role in Libya costs hundreds of millions so far

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Posted: Mar 23, 2011 3:36 AM by Brittany Rivas
Updated: Mar 23, 2011 3:36 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Libya, Obama, no-fly zone

WASHINGTON- The U.S. price tag so far for the no-fly zone in Libya easily tops hundreds of millions of dollars.

The cost could rise moderately if the U.S. role is limited, with the Pentagon using its existing budget to cover the expense, or it could jump significantly if the operation drags on for weeks or months.

As of Tuesday, the U.S. and European coalition had fired at least 162 sea-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles priced at $1 million to $1.5 million apiece and dispatched B-2 stealth bombers - flying round-trip from Missouri - to bomb Libyan sites.

Total flying time: 25 hours. Operating cost for one hour: at least $10,000.

Many other warplanes are involved, and there are 11 Navy ships in the Mediterranean, including three submarines and two amphibious ships.

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