In 2017, the U.S. military will launch its USS Gerald Ford Aircraft Carrier, the most expensive military hardware on Earth. With an estimated cost of $17.5 billion, the flagship of the new class aircraft carriers will replace the USS Enterprise. But the military budget in 2010 amounted to $693 billion, so other than aircraft carriers, the military spent more in creating expensive military hardware.
24/7 Wall Street is known to keep an eye on every dollars and cents of U.S. military programs. The website has put together a list of the most expensive U.S. military weapons.
Check these expensive U.S. military hardware and be amazed by their sheer capabilities and power.
1) F-22 Raptor
> Type: stealth fighter jet
> Total Cost: $79.2 billion
> R&D: $40.5 billion
> Procurement Cost: $37.9 billion
> Total Units: 188
> Price per Unit: $211.6 million
The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is considered by military personnel and observers as the best fighter jet in the world. The Raptor is hyper-maneuverable, it can out maneuver all kinds of fighter jets that are in the sky today. It is also stealth-enabled and can eliminate targets long before they know that the Raptor is in the sky. The jet is equipped with two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, six medium-range air-to-air missiles, a 20 mm Gatling gun, two 1,000 pound bombs and eight 250 pound bombs. The Raptor can truly dominate the air.
With its great capabilities, a Raptor also comes with a great price tag. Each one costs $211 million- making it the most expensive jet fighter in the world. The U.S. military currently has 188 Raptors at its disposal, and it is not surprising that many countries want one of their own too. So far, the U.S. Congress has banned the sale of Raptors to any country.
2) Virginia Class Submarine
> Type: nuclear submarine
> Total Cost: $83.7 billion
> R&D: $7.2 billion
> Procurement Cost: $76.6 billion
> Total Units: 30
> Price per Unit: $2,552.6 million
These nuclear subs are considered to be one of the most useful and integral strategic tools in the DOD’s arsenal. The Virginia Class is capable of carrying 38 different weapons that can include Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, mines and torpedoes. The DOD has already 8 of these nuclear subs at its disposal and has already bidgeted for 30 of these $2.5 billion undersea weapons.
Here is a video overview of the Virginia Class Sub, courtesy of the Military Channel:
3 ) Trident II Missile
> Type: ballistic missile
> Total Cost: $53.2 billion
> R&D: $16.8 billion
> Procurement Cost: $35 billion
> Total Units: 561
> Price per Unit: $65.7 million
Trident II ballistic missile is a 44 feet long with 80 tons of sheer power. It is equipped with a three-stage rocket and capable of traveling at more than 13,000 mph. The missile’s range is at approximately 4,600 miles. It is the most advanced U.S. Navy ballistic missile. It is equipped with a thermonuclear warhead. These missiles are usually carried by Ohio-class submarines.
The Department of Defense currently has 561 of these awesome missiles on budget. Each of them worth more than $65 million, not including R&D cost.
4) V-22 Osprey
> Type: tiltrotor transport plane
> Total Cost: $57.8 billion
> R&D: $13.6 billion
> Procurement Cost: $43.5 billion
> Total Units: 459
> Price per Unit: $95.2 million
V-22 Osprey are part of the “tiltrotor aircraft” designs. This aircraft is essentially a hybrid-plane and helicopter design. It can take short take-offs and landings and can even hover in place just like helicopters. When the rotors come forward, the V-22 Osprey is capable of longer range than a helicopter. The aircraft serves as a transport craft, and it is capable of traveling up to 390 nautical miles without refueling. It can surpass 260 mph if it needs to.
Currently, DOD has 459 Ospreys included in its budget at a $95.2 million each.
5) Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer
> Type: destroyer
> Total Cost: $101.8 billion
> R&D: $5.1
> Procurement Cost: $96.6 billion
> Total Units: 75
> Price per Unit: $1,299.3 million
Also known as DDG 5 has been a part of the U.S. Navy fleet since 1995. This 500 feet long sea vessel can displace 9,000 tons, and carries 350 servicemen. The newest generation of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is equipped with two vertical tomahawk missile launching systems, a 5″ gun, torpedoes and advanced mine-detection system.
The Navy currently has 60 DDG 5 in active service, and the DOD included 15 more of this vessel in its budget.