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Most expensive military weapons and programs

  • Most expensive military weapons and programs

    Government budget proposals don’t exactly make for the most scintillating reading. Still, they’re one of the best ways to gain insight into the nation’s priorities—after all, the way you spend your money says a lot.

    In particular, civilians can learn about military operations by reading through the weapons and programs the government plans to invest in. Using the data from this U.S. Department of Defense news release, Stacker ranked the most expensive military weapons based on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year by their estimated cost. The numbers of each item that the Department of Defense expects to purchase were used to break any ties.

    Click through the slideshow to see which missile defense systems, space programs, submarines, and other weapons the U.S. military plans to invest in next year. Staying informed is your civic duty, after all.

    ALSO: The impact of the military on every state economy

  • #30. Hellfire missiles

    2019 national security budget investment: $600 million

    Amount invested in: 7,045

    Type of weapon: Preferred munition

    Originally created to give the American military an advantage against Soviet tank formations, the Hellfire missile has evolved into one of the U.S. military’s most commonly used weapons. It can be deployed from ships, aircraft or land vehicles.

  • #29. Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range

    2019 national security budget investment: $600 million

    Amount invested in: 360

    Type of weapon: Preferred munition

    The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range—also known as JASSM—is a long-range, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile. The 2,000-pound weapon is designed to destroy high-value targets.

  • #28. Long-Range Stand-Off Missile

    2019 national security budget investment: $600 million

    Amount invested in: 1

    Type of weapon: Nuclear deterrence

    This stealthy nuclear cruise missile is designed to fend off a nuclear war. These air-based weapons could punch through enemy defenses, including command sites, as part of nuclear deterrence.

  • #27. Expeditionary sea base

    2019 national security budget investment: $700 million

    Amount invested in: 1

    Type of weapon: Sea

    These floating bases are used for special operations, such as expeditionary warfare missions. They also work as an intermediary, transferring cargo ships to Navy landing craft.

  • #26. Armored multi-purpose vehicles

    2019 national security budget investment: $800 million

    Amount invested in: 197

    Type of weapon: Ground system

    These armored vehicles make up about 30% of the Armored Brigade Combat Team’s tracked vehicle fleet. Various models can accommodate anywhere from from four to eight people, a mounted mortar, and plenty of ammunition.

  • #25. Space Based Infrared System

    2019 national security budget investment: $800 million

    Amount invested in: 1

    Type of weapon: Space

    Considered one of the top priority space programs, Space Based Infrared Surveillance (SBIRS) provides an early missile warning system. The system includes satellites and hosted payloads, as well as ground hardware and software.

  • #24. VH-92 Presidential Helicopters

    2019 national security budget investment: $900 million

    Amount invested in: 6

    Type of weapon: Aircraft

    The fleet of VH-92 helicopters fly the president and other high-level White House personnel around the world. The United States Marine Corps handles the president’s air transportation.

  • #23. Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancements

    2019 national security budget investment: $1.1 billion

    Amount invested in: 240

    Type of weapon: Missile defense

    This powerful air defense missile can be deployed to protect ground forces from aircraft, cruise missiles, and other tactical ballistic missiles. The U.S. government expects to spend $1.1 billion on PAC-3 missiles in 2018.

  • #22. THAAD Ballistic Missile Defense

    2019 national security budget investment: $1.1 billion

    Amount invested in: 82

    Type of weapon: Missile defense

    The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system provides the capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight. Though the weapon is based on land, it can shoot down missiles inside and outside the atmosphere

  • #21. Fleet replenishment oilers (T-AO)

    2019 national security budget investment: $1.1 billion

    Amount invested in: 2

    Type of weapon: Sea

    These crucial ships refuel other U.S. Navy ships, aircraft carriers, and on-board aircraft at sea. These ships also have a helicopter platform that military personnel can use to fly between ships.

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