The US Government is scrapping millions of dollars worth of military equipment, rather than storing it or selling it on to surplus dealers.

Surplus suppliers often resell scrap aircraft parts back to the military, as it can be faster for the military to buy back discarded equipment, rather then try to source it from within the military or order new parts from manufacturers.

The US National Association of Aircraft and Communications Suppliers, a lobby group for surplus suppliers, says of the $1.8bn of gear the Defence Department has scrapped so far this year, at least $330m came from categories of gear the Pentagon most frequently buys back.

Equipment includes combat boots, helmets, vests, weapons, communications systems and aircraft parts.

Earlier this year the Pentagon decided to destroy its retired F-14 aircraft after it was revealed weaknesses in surplus sale security had allowed middle men for China, Iran and other countries to acquire sensitive US military technology.