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The Ten Oldest Military Vehicles Still In Service

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. At least that's the motto of the military forces keeping these machines running.

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Yes, there are indeed some operational T-34 tanks in third world countries, but good luck finding them! There are also Spitfires, and three candidates from 1957: the Lockheed U-2, the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. But those old units didn't even make it into our top 10.

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10.) Tupolev Tu-95

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Introduction: 1956
Operator: Russia

Personally, the "Bear" is one of my all time favorite planes. It's a long-range turboprop nuclear bomber. Doesn't get much more badass than that. Bluecold tells you more:

The Tupolev Tu-95 Bear. Production started in 1952, same as the B52. It was put into service a year later than the B52. However, the B52 was produced from 1952 to 1962. The Bear was produced from 1952 to 1994. I think that counts for something, as does the soundtrack. I like CROR's, the Antonov An 70 made quite an impression in Paris this year.

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The Russians will keep it combat ready until at least 2040...

Suggested By: Bluecold, Photo Credit: AP Images

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9.) Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

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Introduction: 1952
Operator: USA

America's answer to the Bear. Looks environmentally friendly, doesn't it? The government plans to keep it into service well into the 2040s which means it'll have an operational life of nearly 90 years.

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Suggested By: Gamecat235, Photo Credit: Getty Images

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8.) Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17

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Introduction: 1952
Operator: Tanzania

The MiG-17 was designed to kick some American ass in the Vietnam War, and so it did. Today though, you could call it slightly outdated. Not like Tanzania is going to face off with an F22 anytime soon.

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Suggested By: Gamecat235, Photo Credit: StuSeeger

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7.) Antonov An-2

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Introduced: 1947
Operators: North Korea

The An-2 is used as a brilliant agricultural plane all over the world. But not in North Korea! When they have enough to pay for fuel, the AN-2 is an active part of their deadly fleet...

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Suggested By: Gamecat235 , Photo Credit: Dave Hamster


6.) M3 Stuart

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Introduction: 1941
Operator: Paraguay

Paraguay likes to keep it old school too with some WW2 American machinery. Who could blame them? The M3 Stuart is a great choice if you're after light and agile tanks...

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Suggested By: manifold engines, wanting for time, Photo Credit: PhotosNormandie

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5.) BAP Almirante Grau (CLM-81)

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Introduction: 1941
Operator: Peru

The Almirante Grau was originally commissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy as De Ruyter way back in 1941, and is still in active service with the Peruvian Navy.

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A bit of correction from Jod:

Technically commissioned after the war, but was launched (by the German occupation) in 41.

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Suggested By: ranwhenparked, Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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4.) Parnaíba (U17)

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Introduction: 1937
Operator: Brazil

Brazil also has a floating museum on the river...

Suggested By: straight_six, Photo Credit: shipbucket.com/Stugger

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3.) Boeing PT-17

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Introduction: 1934
Operator: Mexico

Another sort of Boeing down south:

Mexican Air Force still have a few Boeing PT-17 kayoed from the 1930's. They're mostly used for air shows but are still registered as active military planes.

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The Mexicans use them as trainers.

Suggested By:Kate's Dirty Sister , Photo Credit: Armchair Aviator


2.) Amerigo Vespucci

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Introduction: 1931
Operator: Italy

A proud member of the Italian Navy since the thirties. Beautiful.

Suggested By: Reborn Pyrrhic, Photo Credit: Getty Images

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1.) USS Constitution

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Introduction: 1797
Operator: USA

'merica, 'merica, 'merica!

Suggested By:ttyymmnn, Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

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DISCUSSION

orlove
Raphael Orlove

I just want to give a shout out to POD for making a great case for the horse being the oldest military vehicle in service.

The War Horse:

First seen in battle over 5000 years ago. While, formal battle ready horse cavalry units have almost disappeared, horses are still seen in use by organized armed fighters in Third World countries.

Many nations still maintain small units of mounted riders for patrol and reconnaissance, and military horse units are also used for ceremonial and educational purposes. Horses are also used for historical reenactment of battles, law enforcement, and in equestrian competitions derived from the riding and training skills once used by the military.

Which military forces still use horses, you might wonder? POD is glad you asked.

1) The Janjaweed

The Janjaweed are armed partisans drawn from Arab tribes. Maybe not a military by the strictest of definitions. In the past, they were at odds with Darfur's sedentary population over natural grazing grounds and farmland, as rainfall dwindled and water became scarce. They are currently in conflict with Darfur rebel groups—the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. Since 2003 they have been one of the main players in the Darfur conflict, which has pitted the largely nomadic tribes against the sedentary population of the region in a battle over resource and land allocation.

2) The United States (as posted by other Jalops):

At Smith Lake Stables, 36 horses are owned by the U.S. government and serve their country in two assignments. In one assignment, they act as equine ambassadors, linking the civilian public to the military. The other is to help prepare active duty personnel, particularly Army Special Forces troops, for challenges in foreign countries.

"'The first time we used our horses to train Special Forces was right after 9/11,' explains Mark Rossignol, business manager for Smith Lake Stables. Fort Bragg is home to the U.S. Army's Special Operations Forces. 'They were being sent to Afghanistan, and often the only way they can travel over there is by horse.'"

However after digging further it looks like the military stable has since been closed and the horses sold, however if the need arises (conflict in rough terrain) it could be re-opened.

3) India:

One of the few remaining operationally-ready, fully horse-mounted regular regiment in the world is the Indian Army's 61st Cavalry. The regiment recruits Rajputs (Badass-Fother-Muckers!), Marathas and Kaimkhanis in equal numbers. It was retained in the present form on Prime Minister Jawarharalal Nehru's instructions.

4) Great Britain's Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment:

Primarily used for mounted (and some dismounted) ceremonial duties on State and Royal occasions. It also provides a reconnaissance capacity to the British Army, including front line operations in Afghanistan as required.