Top 10 Most Expensive Military Planes Manufactured In America

Since planes have been adopted for military use, the United States have produced some of the world’s most expensive as well as technologically advanced military aircraft. It is said that in the event of a major global conflict in the future, the United States holds the advantage of air supremacy over other nations because of their string of very advanced military air forces.

Here are the 10 most expensice military aircrafts ever created by the Americans.

10. F/A-18 Hornet: $94 million


Ushered into service in the 1980s, the Hornet is America’s very first strike fighter, a hybrid between a fighter and a bomber. This means the plane is capable of attacking both aerial and ground targets and can engage in air combat if the situation requires it. The Hornets were instrumental to US victory during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s, where this fighter planes performed exceptionally well. Other nations that have Hornets in their air force are Canada, France, Israel, Kuwait, and Switzerland.

9. EA-18G Growler: $102 million


The Growler is basically a modified Super Hornet. It has all its cousin’s capabilities but it is lightly armed and not fitted for aggressive air excursions. The Growler is mounted with radar jamming equipment used to mess up enemy radar and disrupt enemy communications.

8. V-22 Osprey: $118 million 


The Osprey is a beautiful combination of a plane and a helicopter, thanks to its tiltrotor technology. This particular innovation allows the Osprey to land and take off like a conventional helicopter while having the speed and range of an airplane. This setup greatly reduces the time needed to fly and land and virtually eliminates the need of a landing strip. An accident involving the Osprey that killed 30 people prompted US Vice President Dick Cheney to stop its production. However, military leaders recognize the versatility of the aircraft and they still use it. The Osprey has seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan and has received positive reviews in both conflicts.

7. F-35 Lightning II: $122 million 


The need for fighter jets with stealth features that won’t sacrifice speed and weaponry led to the production of the Lighting II. The jet itself is a breakthrough. It is invisible to enemy radars and can function as a fighter-bomber. It is also armed to the teeth, making it capable to dogfight if it encounters any opposition in the skies. Oh, it can also perform vertical takeoff, which makes F-35 the first fighter jet with such capability.

Read more:  The Color of Money

6. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye: $232 million 


Loaded with communications and top of the line radar equipment, the Advanced Hawkeye is the ultimate reconnaissance plane. Although it has not yet entered service, designers and advocates of the Advanced Hawkeye are confident that the plane can put up a better performance than its predecessor, the E-2C Hawkeye.

5. VH-71 Kestrel: $241 million


The Kestrel was supposed to replace American President’s chopper fleet (yes, he has a chopper fleet waiting to do his bidding). But by the time President Barack Obama took office, he ordered the production to stop and channelled the funding to the maintenance of his old choppers.

4. P-8A Poseidon: $290 million


The Poseidon is a modified Boeing 747 airliner, fitted for the US Navy. This commercial-turned-military aircraft is equipped with depth charges, torpedoes and missiles. Its mission: rain death from above against enemy submarines.

3. C17A Globemaster III: $328 million


Not your ordinary military transport plane, the Globemaster III is capable of delivering soldiers, vehicles, and military equipment anywhere in the world. In times of conflict, the Globemaster III can carry and drop 102 fully-loaded combat personnel deep inside enemy territory. It can also drop tanks, Humvees, and other vehicles.

2. F-22 Raptor: $350 million 


Viewed by many as the world’s best jet fighter, the Raptor was United States’ answer to Russia’s advanced MIG Fulcrum and SU Flanker. Conceived in the 1980s, the US military was racing to produce a combat aircraft capable of facing Russia’s best planes. With the Russian threat now gone, production of the Raptor has also halted. There are only less than 200 Raptors delivered to the US military.

1. B-2 Spirit: $737 million


Looking more like an alien spaceship rather than a war plane, the B-2 Spirit is the ultimate stealth bomber. It is invisible to infrared, electromagnetic, visual or radar signals, the B-2 Spirit can easily fly into enemy territory without being detected and deliver damaging payload of bombs. Originally designed to carry nuclear explosives, the B-2 Spirit can now carry multitudes of bombs.

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  • Troydman says:

    That raptor is a beast. Technically more advanced than the f18 by a generation in stealth, firepower, and speed. In fact, the raptor’s other super advantage besides its stealth (it leaves a radar trace similar to a small bird)is its ability to cruise at supersonic speed for hours. The f18 can run supersonic but it has to switch the afterburner, which only gives it minutes of cruising. Oh, the price of the raptor is worth every inch of this beast.

    • Void says:

      well technically, the superhornet is considered a gen 4.5 fighter, and the whole carrier takeoff and landing gives it some advantages over the 22, not to mention the more appealing price tag, and no issues with exhaust being fed to the pilot’s oxygen. The super hornet is a very good plane, too

    • Stephan B. Feibish says:

      (it leaves a radar trace similar to a small bird)

      How many birds travel at that speed.

  • zenoelea says:

    Makes you wonder why all these costs to build an army against what? Afghanistan? Iraq? North Korea? Clearly the US armed forces is designed as an offensive army, employing the latest technology to run down an imagined enemy.

  • M Rown says:

    Nice article. Couple of corrections –

    F35 isn’t the first VTOL fighter. That was the Harrier in the 1960s.

    The P8A Poseidon is a modified 737, not a 747.

  • Solo says:

    the U.S. clearly has the most advanced high tech weaponry for offensive capabilities to takeover any nation we wish to yet we’re sitting like ducks in a pond

    • Alex Wang says:

      Well, you have to think about ethics too. Would it be ethical to send in b-2 spirit bombers into North Korea and eliminating the Kim family and erasing famine and failure from the country? No, not only will the people still not listen to you and many other contributing factors, but it would not be ethical to do so. Ethics is just a part of being human.

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