It’s no secret that the government spends an egregious amount of money on military spending. In 2015 alone, the United States spent 54% of their federal discretionary on the Army, a whopping $598.5 billion. While much of this money funds new technology, not all of those projects end up working.
Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, several expensive military projects have failed. A $200 billion wall got destroyed in a single day. Billions sank into anti-aircraft missiles that never fired, and an aircraft laser that didn’t work. Here are the most expensive mistakes made by armies around the world.
The Terribly Constructed F-35 Threw Away Trillions
Since 1996, the Joint Strike Fighter program has poured $1.5 trillion into a new fighter plane, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. It was meant to be a plane that could take off from anywhere, land on anything, and deploy nearly every weapon. That didn’t happen.
Instead, the F-35 ended up being slower than the F-14 Tomcat from the 1970s and got destroyed during a dogfight test with the 1960s F-4 Phantom. It struggled to land on aircraft carriers and was exceptionally prone to lightning strikes. Nick Harvey, a defense chief from the U.K., called the F-35 “one of the biggest white elephants in history.”