They are draw-dropping feats of engineering and design. Awesome machines carefully crafted and planned out for years before being expertly constructed. They are also terrifying. They can bring about massive destruction and catastrophe. They are super expensive embodiments of paradox; high-tech machines of war designed to ensure peace. While we all hope they are never needed to fire shots in anger, these military vehicles are undoubtedly amazing. Think back on the great military innovations of the past. The Greeks defeated the Persians with the phalanx, a formation of soldiers with spears. The Mongols conquered much of the known-world with horses and bows. A mere 200 years ago, the British Empire was the dominant superpower thanks to rifled muskets and wooden ships. How the minds of military masters of the past would boggle upon setting eyes on today’s cutting edge military technology. Writer Arthur C. Clarke’s oft-repeated maxim, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” is no truer than when examining how far our military technological capability has advanced.
Perhaps it reflects poorly on us humans that warfare is often the most effective driver of advancement and technology. But many would argue that it is because of our constant innovation of our military capability that we still have peace. As worrisome a time as the Cold War was, perhaps the thought of Mutually Assured Destruction –that neither the U.S. nor the U.S.S.R. could afford to strike the other for both had the ability to utterly destroy the other– actually prevented war. In any event, whether you’re a hawk or a dove, these machines are truly amazing, so sit back and read about the most expensive military vehicles ever.
1. Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey – $72.1 million
he V-22 Osprey is like a helicopter on steroids. It is truly a marvel of modern engineering. It takes off and lands like a helicopter, but it can achieve speeds far greater than a traditional helicopter, often matching the speeds of most conventional turboprop airplanes. It was first used in combat by the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq in 2007. The V-22 Osprey’s very existence is a testament to the difficulty involved in designing high-tech military vehicles. During its design and testing phase from 1991 to 2000, the V-22 Osprey was plagued by a series of accidents, causing 30 deaths. Separating the program cost from the cost of individual vehicles can be tough. These numbers aren’t always public (especially from less than democratic governments) so any list such as this is bound to be disputed. It is estimated that the V-22 program has cost the U.S. government $35.6 billion to date to research, develop and produce the 200+ V-22 Ospreys. That leaves us with a price tag of about $72.1 million per vehicle.