$30 Billion Down the Drain: Five Launched and Trashed Pentagon Projects


Dramatic geopolitical changes at the end of the 20th century prompted the Pentagon to repeatedly review it doctrine, resulting in a number of abandoned military projects. The National Interest has outlined five flawed initiatives which cost American taxpayers $30 billion.

The US’ defence budget still remains the biggest in the world, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers’ money has always been spent wisely. The National Interest has listed five five hi-tech Pentagon weapons programmes that Washington eventually nixed, thus squandering $30 billion.

The Future Combat System (FCS) programme is the army’s most expensive failure, effectively burning $18.1 billion, according to the media outlet.

The modernisation initiative was developed between 2003 and 2009 and envisaged the creation of new brigades empowered by a fleet of ground tanks and troop carriers.

“The FCS was intended to field not just a system, but an entire brigade, a system of systems, with novel technologies integrated by means of an advanced wireless network,” a 2010 RAND report said. “Moreover, the FCS-equipped brigade would operate with new doctrine that was being developed and tested along with the materiel components of the unit”.

However the ambitious project raised questions about its efficiency and proved more expensive than it had been initially estimated and finally, in 2009 then-Defence Secretary Robert Gates brought it to naught.

The Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche, a…

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