Military airplanes are primarily used to gain a positional and tactical advantage over the enemy forces. A well planned military warfare must focus more on air-to-air combat depending upon the nature of the enemy’s troops. If the air forces are besieged, the enemy will eventually have to retreat or surrender. As military airplanes present advantages in various obvious ways, they come to the market at unexpectedly high prices. Given below is a list of the top most expensive military airplanes in the world in 2018.
Table of Page Contents
10. F/A- 18 Hornet
This aircraft present to the soldiers a string of advantageous features like none other. It possesses dual engines and is supersonic with the ability to be easily controlled as both an attack and a fighter plane. It was first flown on 18th November 1978, and was considered to have one of the most evolutionary designs of the time. It now costs around $94 million and is available in many countries like Spain, Malaysia, Kuwait, and others.
9. V-22 Osprey
This is one of the most popular and expensive Vertical Take-Off and Landing flights used in the military. Due to many failed operations during the Iran Hostage period, the US Department of Defence initiated a program in 1981 for manufacturing of such VTOL flights, which resulted in the flying of the first ever VTOL aircraft in 1989. V-22 Osprey was created by the collaboration of Bell Helicopters and Boeing Rotorcraft systems. Due to countless tests and alterations of designs and training, it was fielded only in 2007. It costs $118 million currently.
8. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
This is one of the oldest aircrafts to make it to the top most expensive airplanes’ list. It was founded in the late 1950s and was commonly used in the United States Navy for the replacement of a certain aircraft that was being used earlier. After a few years, the system began to get outdated, due to which upgraded versions began to be used. This aircraft now costs $232 million and has been sold in numerous countries like Egypt, France, Japan, Mexico, and Israel in addition to being used in the U.S Navy.
7. P-8A Poseidon
This aircraft too is designed specifically for its use in the U.S. Navy. The aircraft completed its manufacturing and design and was first flown only recently, in 2009 by the Boeing Defense, Space and Security of the Boeing company. It is in operation in U.S. Navy, the Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. It is one of the most well-equipped and modern forms of military tool in air warfare and currently costs $290 million in the market only in certain countries over the world.
6. F 22 Raptor
This is undoubtedly the most popular aircraft known by people all over the world. The level of sophistication in the plane’s design renders the pilot supreme air superiority over enemy troops and can even attack very close targets with utmost precision on the ground. It was first flown in 1997 but came into fielded use only in 2005 after all kinds of testing and training. It is the most expensive military airplane in the world currently, costing $350 million.
5. EA-18G Growler
The most unique feature that the aircraft presents is its electronic warfare system. It uses radar jamming methods to defect the radar systems of the enemies thereby attacking with the element of surprise. It was delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2006 but was began to be used only in 2007. Next to the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force has purchased the maximum number of EA-18Gs which began its service in 2017 only. It costs around $102 million, mainly because of the highly effective electronic warfare technique that is used to subdue the enemy airplanes first.
4. F-35 Lightning II
This aircraft is primarily used for ground and air superiority attack-centered missions. It has three main models that vary in the mode of take-off and landing, conventional, short and catapulted. Its first flight was recorded in 2006, but it took ten years for the U.S. Air Force to officially declare the airplanes to be ready for fielded uses in 2016. Even with such a high cost of $122 million, several countries like U.K., Italy, Denmark, Norway and Turkey have been actively buying and using them and more countries are expected to invest in its development programmes.
3. VH-71 Kestrel
Unlike other aircrafts, this was not manufactured to be used in Air Force or Navy, but in the U.S. Marine Corps’ Presidential Transport Fleet of the Marine Corps. It was designed by Bell Helicopters and was first flown in 2007. Due to the extensive modifications that had to be done after its introduction in the market, the Government was on the verge of cancelling it in 2011. It was however cancelled later by Barack Obama due to its high cost of more than half a billion for a unit.
2. C-17 Globemaster III
This is suited specifically for transportation of large military troops and delivery of cargo and other goods, unlike other airplanes that are solely purposed for air and superior ground attacks. It is also used for extraction, transportation of troops and cargo, medicinal supplies and other air duties. It costs around $328 million, due to its excessive engine efficiency and power, to carry heavy cargo over long distances. It is used in Afghanistan and Iraq mainly, in addition to countries like U.K., Australia, Qatar, India, and Kuwait.
1. B-2 Spirit
This is mainly a highly developed bomber aircraft, designed with high stealthy features to penetrate enemy regions without being detected. Despite its sleek size and high speed and manoeuvrability, it can carry and deploy extremely heavy nuclear bombs and thermonuclear weapons in great numbers compared to other flights. It completed its design and manufacturing in 1989 but was brought into the field only in 1997. It is being primarily used in the U.S. Air Force and also in other countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and Libya.
These aforementioned fighter planes are highly specifically well-equipped and designed to meet the needs of the warfare requirement of the Air Force in the country. Even a minute glitch in the design can cost countless lives in the battle, which is why these aircrafts are perfectly crafted to render top-notch success in military operations in any country.