World Facts & News

15 Most Expensive Projects abandoned by US Military

The US military is unquestionably the world’s strongest force with the world’s largest defense budget

But throughout the 2000s, the Pentagon spent $51.2 billion on 15 major programs “without any fielded systems to show for it,” according to a new Center for Strategic and International Studies report.

The abandoned projects are largely due to a lack of funding attributed to the Budget Control Act and sequestration.

Sequestration, which is indiscriminate budget cuts across-the-board that affect every portion of the military equally, is the greatest threat to the US military currently, Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Business Insider.

Below are a series of military modernization projects that were canceled partially due to a lack of funds.

Future Combat Systems

Future Combat Systems

Branch: Army
Sunk Costs: $18.1 billion
Follow-On: The project was ultimately superseded by the Ground Combat Vehicle Program. This program was also ultimately canceled.

RAH-66 Comanche Armed Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter

RAH-66 Comanche Armed Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter

Branch: Army
Sunk Costs: $7.9 billion
Follow-On: The helicopter was superseded by the later canceled Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter project.

National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System

National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System

Branch: Air Force and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Sunk-Costs: $5.8 billion
Follow-On: The program was replaced by the now-canceled Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS). The DWSS is slated to be restarted as the Weather Satellite Follow-On.

Airborne Laser

Airborne Laser

Branch: Air Force
Sunk Costs: $5.2 billion
Follow-On: The project was canceled without an identified replacement.

VH-71 Presidential Helicopter

VH-71 Presidential Helicopter

Branch: Marine Corps
Sunk Costs: $3.7 billion
Follow-On: The project was restarted as the VH-92A Presidential Helicopter.

Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

Branch: Marine Corps
Sunk Costs: $3.3 billion
Follow-On: The project was ultimately superseded by the Amphibious Combat Vehicle program.

XM2001 Crusader Self-Propelled Howitzer

XM2001 Crusader Self-Propelled Howitzer

Branch: Army
Sunk Costs: $2.2 billion
Follow-On: The project was superseded by the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System which was also then canceled.

E-10 Multi-sensor Command and Control Aircraft

E-10 Multi-sensor Command and Control Aircraft

Branch: Air Force
Sunk Costs: $1.9 billion
Follow-On: The program was superseded by the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Replacement Program.

Space Based Infrared Systems – Low

Space Based Infrared Systems - Low

Branch: Air Force
Sunk Costs: $1.5 billion
Follow-On: The program was superseded by the Space Tracking and Surveillance System.

Advanced SEAL Delivery System

Advanced SEAL Delivery System

Branch: Navy
Sunk Costs: $0.6 billion
Follow-On: The project was superseded by the later canceled Joint Multi-Mission Submersible.

Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter

Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter

Branch: Army
Sunk Costs: $0.5 billion
Follow-On: The project was deferred following the Army’s decision to field a mix of drones and AH-64Es instead.

Aerial Common Sensor

Aerial Common Sensor

Branch: Army/Navy
Sunk Costs: $0.4 billion
Follow-On: The project deferred in favor of the Navy’s P-8 program and upgrades to Army aircraft.

CG(X) Next Generation Cruiser

CG(X) Next Generation Cruiser

Branch: Navy
Sunk Costs: $0.2 billion
Follow-On: The project was deferred, and the Navy purchased additional DDG 51 destroyers instead.

CSAR-X Combat Rescue Helicopter

CSAR-X Combat Rescue Helicopter

Branch: Air Force
Sunk Costs: $0.2 billion
Follow-On: The project was ultimately restarted as the Combat Rescue Helicopter.

Next Generation Bomber

Next Generation Bomber

Branch: Army
Sunk Costs: $18.1 billion
Follow-On: The project was restarted as the Long Range Strike-Bomber.

Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies

Source: Business Insider

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