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What Are The Most Expensive Military Projects Of All Time?

Illustration for article titled What Are The Most Expensive Military Projects Of All Time?

The F-35 Lightning II is unquestionably one of the baddest planes ever built. Its stealth abilities, electronic warfare suite, speed and weapons make it formidable enough to teach any country some manners. It is also obscenely, obscenely expensive.


In fact, it's considered the largest single military program in history, and it's not even finished yet. The F-35 costs $200 million per aircraft, trumping even the debacle that was the F-22, which cost "only" $143 million each. The total cost of the F-35 program has ballooned to about $400 billion, according to the Washington Post. Over its total lifespan, it could cost as much as $1.45 trillion. On top of all that, it's got a ton of problems.


Well, no one ever said ass-kicking came cheap. So here's our question of the day: What are the most expensive military projects of all time?

Often, the really pricey projects tend to be vehicles of some sort, but sometimes they aren't. We're looking for both, as well as what they cost.

They can be historical projects, and they aren't limited to the U.S. only, so go nuts. The Pentagon certainly does!

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Being Phil Dunphy

1964 cost: approx $33 million per plane.

2012 cost (adjusted for inflation) $241 million per plane.

32 planes built for a total cost of $7.7 billion in 2012 dollars.

Average annual operating cost in the 80s: $260 million. (using 1985 as a nice middle, and adjusting for inflation, that's $546 million annually x 10 years = $5.5 billion.) Couldn't find any other operating cost figures, but it ran from 1964 to 1998, so there's another there decades of operating costs missing at least.

So far, our grand total in 2012 dollars for all figures found is: $13.2 billion.