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Random Biggest Military Wastes of Money

  • M247 Sergeant York - $6 Billion on Random Biggest Military Wastes of Money

    (#12) M247 Sergeant York - $6 Billion

    Designed as a counterpart to mobile Soviet self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (SPAAG), the M247 was meant to deploy two 40mm cannons on a radar controlled turret. The procurement process was plagued with arguments over what design to go with, and what cannons to use. Once a design was chosen, it had severe problems with its radar, including an inability to discern enemy helicopters from trees. To save money, off-the-shelf parts were used, including World War Two era Bofors guns.

    But design and construction pressed on. When the tank was finally unveiled, the fire control radar mistook a reviewing stand for a target, sending observers scrambling for cover, lest they be shot to pieces. The M247 was finally cancelled after only 50 had been made, and most were bombed as targets. All told, the US spent over $6 billion on four different experimental SPAAG systems, none of which worked.
  • XM2001 Crusader - $2 Billion on Random Biggest Military Wastes of Money

    (#15) XM2001 Crusader - $2 Billion

    Designed to be the Army's new self-propelled gun, the Crusader was intended to be lighter, faster, and more powerful than current artillery. It turned out to be unsuitable for the post Cold War military - a mobile, precise cannon that wasn't mobile or precise enough. It was cancelled in 2002, with over $2 billion down the tubes. Concepts from the Crusader were used in the experimental XM-203 Line of Sight Cannon - which was also cancelled.
  • Maginot Line - 7 Billion Francs on Random Biggest Military Wastes of Money

    (#11) Maginot Line - 7 Billion Francs

    The trauma of the Great War led France to develop a defensive strategy, hoping to build strong enough defenses to shore up an army weakened by a low birth rate. The Line was designed to make the French/German border so impregnable that troops and tanks could be stationed on the Belgian border, where Germany had attacked France in 1914. It could also be used as a basis for a counter-attack, and to hold the Germans off while France mobilized. Secretly, the French also hoped that by funneling an attack into Belgium, it would draw England into the conflict - exactly like 1914.

    The cost of the Line was staggering - 7 billion Francs, or about a third of France's entire military budget. And when Germany's attack came, their forces simply went around the Line, punching through the undefended Ardennes Forest in southern Belgium, and beating France's over-matched, poorly-led army in six weeks. Where the Line was tested, its troops fought well. But it simply didn't do what it was designed to do.
  • MX Missile - $25 Billion on Random Biggest Military Wastes of Money

    (#5) MX Missile - $25 Billion

    A 1970s nuclear deterrent, the LGM-118 (or MX Missile, as the program was usually called) was a land-based ICBM that could carry up to 10 re-entry vehicles, each armed with a 300-kiloton W87 warhead. It could deliver a devastating strike to the Soviet Union that could essentially win a nuclear war in one blow. The program was cancelled and restarted several times due to issues with housing the missiles, before President Reagan approved their deployment in hardened silos. 

    The program suffered massive delays and cost overruns, and the missiles themselves were hard to maintain and expensive to build. The MX ended up costing over $25 billion to make just 114 missiles. The last were taken out of service in 2003 - and the Cold War they were meant to win lasted just a few years after they were deployed.
  • Zumwalt Class Destroyer - $3 Billion per Ship on Random Biggest Military Wastes of Money

    (#9) Zumwalt Class Destroyer - $3 Billion per Ship

    Likely the most sophisticated warship in existence, the Zumwalt-class destroyer is also one of the most expensive. A stealth-guided missile destroyer intended to replace current US destroyers, many of which are three decades old, the DD(X) program that birthed the Zumwalt was so plagued with cost overruns that the initial order of 32 ships was cut to 10, then three. Therefore, each ship costs over $3 billion - so expensive that Navy officers are reluctant to use them in combat.
  • Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II on Random Biggest Military Wastes of Money

    (#1) Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

    • Multirole fighter
    The Joint Strike Fighter program was meant to produce a fighter that the Air Force, Marines, and Navy could all use - a fast, stealthy plane that could take off from anywhere, land on anything, and deploy almost any weapon. Instead, it became a black hole of technical problems, delays, technology that was obsolete before being deployed, and above all, money. It's been estimated that the F-35 has cost a staggering $1.5 trillion since its inception in 1996. Meanwhile, the plane is plagued by issues, including having trouble landing on aircraft carriers, issues winning dogfights, reliability problems and, ironically, vulnerability to lightning strikes.

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War has promoted the development of human history in a sense. As technology improving day by day, new designs in tanks, planes, weapons, and vehicles have to be developed, all of which cost huge amounts of money, but some military defenses are a waste of resources and money. People have never even seen these meaningless military projects in action, but it does require a lot of money to improve and maintain.

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