In no real order, here are a few of the coolest and most expensive military weapons ever built! Find out which program costs over a trillion dollars! 10 – V-22 OspreyThe Osprey is a plane that has its own special unmistakable look. This $72 million dollar plane was designed to take off and land like a helicopter but also fly as fast and have as much range as an airplane. The total cost of the Osprey program has been roughly $35.6 billion dollars. It’s the first tiltrotor aircraft to enter full production. And it’s been one of the most innovative and controversial aircraft, because of the notoriety of the accidents it had at the beginning. People just didn’t think these things were safe! The Osprey is capable of short takeoffs and landings as well as vertical takeoffs and landings. With these capabilities, it means that it’s sable to operate in a wide variety of environments. Here’s an interesting fact. Lego actually made a version of the osprey. But LEGO pulled the Osprey set. Why? It’s because Lego has had a long-standing policy not to create sets that feature real military vehicles. BUT, some smaller retailers did receive their orders early. Lucky buyers have been quick to scoop up the rare sets.
eBay listings for the V-22 are selling for well over $1,000! Do us a quick favor and hit that like button! 9 – B-2 Stealth BomberThe B-2 stealth Bomber was first in flight back in 1989! More than 3 decades later, this bomber still looks futuristic. The average cost of the 21 B-2 bombers inexistence came to a whopping $2.1 BILLION dollars apiece! The entire program cost taxpayers $44.75 billion dollars. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $72.47 billion dollars today! Just to fly this bomber costs up to $135,000thousand dollars per flight hour to operate back in 2010. Because of how expensive it was, the project was controversial for the government. The near end of the Cold War in the late 80s dramatically reduced the need for these machines. The B-2 Stealth bomber was designed with the intention of getting into Soviet airspace completely undetected. So Congress actually slashed plans to buy 132 bombers down to 21. Today 20 B-2s are still in service. That’s until 8 – B-21 Stealth Bomber Comes along in the mid-2020s! The cost for each of these new bombers is a much more reasonable projected 564 million dollars.
At first glance, the B-21 looks very much like the B-2 already, and there’s a good reason for that. The team that designed the B-2’s nailed the design when they came up with it in the 80s. They would have gotten it even closer to the B-21’s design if the demand for low-altitude flying wasn’t requested so far along in the B-2’s design process! The decision to add low-level flying capability came out of fears that Russia would have used increasingly more advanced radars that would quickly make the B-2 obsolete. Much about the B-21 still remains unknown and it’s not clear when we can get an actual real look.
The Air Force expects to fly the B-21 for the first time in late 2021. 7 – P-8 PoseidonBoeing developed the P-8 Poseidon specifically for the US Navy, at a program cost of $33BILLION dollars. When the Poseidon was first developed, it was intended to be a surveillance plane. That’s why when it was built it had the latest sensors available, and that’s still true today as they’re still produced and serviced. But with surveillance also means weapons. This bad boy has the ability to drop things such as mines, missiles, and torpedoes as well, because why not? If you saw something that needed to be let scall it, taken care of, why not take care of it right there? It actually was outfitted with so many weapons during the initial design it had to get its wings redesigned in order to support all that extra weight! It’s still in service today and it’s still flying around doing some spying. The incremental cost for each of these planes is around 125 million dollars now. 6 – Oshkosh L-ATVThis OshKosh is going to be the new vehicle to replace the old Humvee! Oshkosh won the initial 6.7 billion dollar government contract to produce these vehicles.
The per-unit costs for one of this bad boysis relatively “low”, starting at ONLY 250 grand. But the projected total cost of the program can easily get beyond 40, 50, or even 60 billion dollars total! It’s about time the military got some new vehicles. The first made Humvees weren’t really designed as combat vehicles. They offered little protection to soldiers. So the military hurriedly ordered armor upgrades that were just slapped on to existing Humvees. But all that extra weight ruined the Humvee’svaluable off-road capabilities. It’s easy to make a vehicle that’s small and fast, but with limited protective capabilities. It’s easy to make a vehicle that’s big and slow but keeps everyone really safe. It’s really hard to do both! Taking big truck capabilities and putting them in a smaller, faster, more maneuverable vehicle was the goal. And this time, the army wasn’t going to hurry anyone! 5 – F-35 Joint Strike FightersHow much does it cost for the Joint Strike Fighter program? The projected life-cycle cost of this program is almost $1.2 TRILLION dollars! The program cost is the most expensive project ever put together by the military! At one point, the program was $163 billion dollars over budget and seven years behind schedule.
To put things into perspective, the program cost US Taxpayers about twice as much as sending a man to the moon! The advanced airframe, propulsion systems, and stealth features of the F-35 make it more lethal than other aircraft. Military officials say this fighter jets are unlike any others and provide the US invaluable advantages over countries such as Russia andChina. It doesn’t take a military genius to know that a supersonic jet that can fly undetected by radar for hundreds of miles will make a difference anywhere in the world! Is this plane worth the money? Let us know what you think in the comments! 4 – HMS AstuteFor 2 billion dollars, the British Royal Navy got a state of the art attack submarine. It was quieter than any of its predecessors, with the ability to remain undetected in almost all circumstances despite being 50% bigger than any other attack submarine they had! The HMS Astute was built with the latest nuclear-powered technology. That means this submarine never needs to be refueled ever.
It can also get around the world completely submerged without ever coming up because it manufactures its own oxygen for the crew! The HMS Astute just recently celebrated its10th anniversary in service, despite a shaky start. The issues included flooding during a routine dive that led to an emergency surfacing. There were problems with corrosion even though the boat was essentially new. There was also concern over the instruments not being able to monitor the nuclear reactor because the wrong type of lead was installed! However, after all these issues and then some more that popped up were corrected, in its years of service since it’s been smooth sailings! 3 – Le TerribleFrance’s nuclear submarine, Le Terrible, cost 3.1 BILLION euros back in 2010. France maintains a fleet of nuclear-armed submarines and strike planes and has about 300 operational nuclear warheads, so it makes sense they invested that much in Le Terrible. Le Terrible was the first of France’s submarines equipped with the M51 missile.
The M51 cost $6.7 billion dollars to develop, and can carry anywhere from six to ten independently targetable nuclear warheads! That means that these warheads can defeat ballistic missile defense systems. Each warhead is capable of independent maneuvers. The French Navy is the only one in the world with this missile! However, France’s nuclear arsenal wasn’t designed to win a nuclear arms race. They have enough just not to lose! 2 – E-2 HawkeyeThis interesting looking plane was first deployed all the way back in 1964, and it’s still operational today. But just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s cheap! For the latest and most advanced version, called the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, it’s the per-unit cost is 246 million dollars.
Different variants of this Hawkeye have been in continuous production since 1960! This gives the E-2 Hawkeye the distinction of having the longest production run of any carrier-based aircraft! The key element on this plane is its radar, which is housed in the super obvious 24-foot rotating dome. The E-2 has been commonly referred to as the”Hummer” because of the distinctive sounds of its turboprop engines! 1 – Trident 2 MissileHow much does a missile with the power of EIGHT atomic bombs cost? Try $30.9 million dollars per missile! So far the program has cost over a combined55 billion dollars over the years. Each Trident missile has a range of up to7,500 miles and is accurate to within a few FEET. The Trident II consists of three solid-fuel rocket motors that ignite in sequence in order to propel the rocket forward. It’s a ballistic missile that’s designed to be launched from an attack submarine at speeds of up to 13,000 miles per hour! Obviously, it’s never actually been deployed for real use. Trident 2 missiles are in both the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy. Hopefully, it’ll never be used because it’s armed with nuclear warheads. At one point, a conventional version was proposed, but that never went through because most sensors have difficulties distinguishing a nuclear ballistic missile from a conventional ballistic missile.