TOP 10 Most Expensive Military Aircraft – You Might Be SURPRISED!
We know manufacturing aircraft is no cheap business. Well for the record, my jaw dropped when I found out a Prince bought a $500 million Airbus for himself because you know, what else will you do with billions of dollars in your bank account? But here, we’ll list the most expensive birds that ever took to the sky.
10. F-18 Hornet
Cost: $19 Million
This fighter and attack aircraft first flew on November 18, 1978 and was designed for air superiority. Built with advanced capabilities and stellar aerodynamic characteristics, it can operate anywhere from land bases to aircraft carriers. It’s an excellent jet, to say the least and it’s a big plus that this war bird can be flown without much difficulty to the pilots. Maneuvering the plane can be done with relative ease.
9. EA-18G Growler
Cost: $102 Million
Introduced on September 22, 2009; this carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft integrates the latest attack technology and APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. It also features multi-mission capabilities and let’s not forget that the AGM-88 HARM is a sweet, sweet missile. The Growler can be fitted with not just one but two of these badass babies!
8. V-22 Osprey
Cost: $118 Million
One notable feature to remember about the Osprey, thanks to the tilt rotor, is its STOL (short takeoff and landing) and VTOL (vertical take off and landing) capabilities. Although some think it’s quite inferior to its foreign counterparts, we can’t discount the fact that it still boasts tactical flexibility and powerful, absolutely reliable engines. To sum it up in two words: Osprey is all about versatility.
7. F-35 Lightning II
Cost: $122 Million
Often tagged as the ‘invisible fighter jet’, the F-35 is a marvel of aviation technology. When you combine excellent speed and agility with advanced stealth, you get an incomparably powerful aircraft. Straight from an F-35 pilot, Billy Flynn: “I see everything that happens, 360 degrees around me, at astonishing distances.” Okay, now we’re really sold on this bad boy.
6. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
Cost: $232 Million
Being the fourth version of the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye, the E-2D is equipped with new avionics suite and is basically considered as a game changer because it can help not just with managing the mission but in advancing it. It’s even capable of sweeping in way ahead of the strike. Yes, it’s going to be an integral part in carrying out the missions. What else is there to say? It’s awesome on so many levels!
5. P-8A Poseidon
Cost: $290 Million
This aircraft is capable of performing various functions: from surveillance and reconnaissance missions to anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. Actually, this is just half of what it can actually do. Yes, it can also carry torpedoes and drop sonobuoys. Boeing ensured the superior performance of this maritime patrol plane. In fact, the Indian Navy and Royal Navy have both expressed their interest in ordering the said warbird.
4. Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
Cost: $328 Million
Say hello to one of our favorites! It’s been two decades since its introduction and the C-17 still serves not just the US Air Force but those from other countries as well. This tactical transport aircraft may often do strategic airlift missions on an international range but it’s also highly capable of performing other functions like medical evacuation. The thing here is, though it looks absolutely monstrous in size, it can land on small airfields.
3. F-22 Raptor
Cost: $350 Million
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a total killer. Though its primary designation is that of air superiority and dominance, it was also designed with ground attack and electronic warfare capabilities. It’s no doubt, the baddest of the bunch. What makes it more deadly is how it integrates stealth with speed and agility and also features excellent armament. The last thing anyone would want is to be on the business end of this mean machine.
2. Air Force One
Cost: $390 Million
Do you know how the idea of transporting the US President using a specific military aircraft came about? Its conception began in 1943. Before the USAF, there was the US Army Air Forces. At the time, the President would often fly commercial. Of course for security reasons, they needed a safer and more reliable aircraft. And thus, the Air Force One was born. The current Presidential airplane is a Boeing 747-200 and features aerial refueling and 4,000 sq.ft. of floor space.
1. Northrop B-2 Spirit
Cost: $2.4 Billion
Drum roll please. Northrop Grumman calls this as the “Centerpiece of Long Range Strike” and we can’t help but give a collective nod. When we found out it had stealth technology on top of its ability to deploy nuclear bombs and even JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, we had to take a moment to pick up our jaws from the floor. Oh and the price doesn’t help. It costs about 55 tonnes of Gold. Anyway, further adding to its stealth technology is the fact that it’s made from low-reflective carbon-fiber composites and with a special coating to boot. All these elements help in the reduction of radar reflectivity.