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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

U.S. fires missiles at weapon sites

Stepping up attacks far from the front-line fighting, a U.S. Navy ship fired 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles at weapon-storage sites for surface-to-surface missiles near the Libyan capital, while combat aircraft of the U.S. and its partners struck at ammunition-storage depots and other military targets in western Libya.

The rebels, though, were reported in full retreat after trying to march on Sirte, a city about halfway between Tripoli and the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi.

All 22 Tomahawks were launched from the USS Barry, a guided-missile destroyer in the Mediterranean, even as the Navy has reduced the number of missile-firing ships and submarines off the coast and as the U.S. has prepared to give NATO full control of the Libya campaign.

Mission's price tag for U.S. hits $550M

WASHINGTON — The military intervention in Libya has cost the United States "about $550 million" in extra spending so far, a Defense Department spokeswoman said Tuesday, providing the first official estimate of the mission's price tag.

Cmdr. Kathleen Kesler said future costs are expected to run about $40 million over the next three weeks as the U.S. military scales back its activity and NATO forces take the lead.

Thereafter, the Pentagon estimates that its added costs for the Libyan operation will total about $40 million a month.

Almost 60 percent of the total cost has been for munitions, the most expensive of which are Tomahawk missiles, which cost more than $1 million each to replace.

President Obama has said the Libya mission could be paid for with money already appropriated for the Defense Department, but Republican lawmakers have pressed the president on whether supplemental funding will be requested from Congress.

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BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM)

BGM-109 Tomahawk Cruise Missile

Tomahawk Missile Variants

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