Statistics have shown that nations around the world spend billions of dollars every year. The total world spending on military force in 2014 is more than $1.7 billion as estimated by some experts. National rivalries, arms races and breakthroughs in weapons development all mean the final bill a nation is expected to pay only gets bigger and bigger.
The USA spends around $600 billion a year on its military. Not only is that three to four times more than the next closest spender – China – that’s also more than the next several highest spenders added together.
The War on Terror, regular upgrades to weapons systems and the ongoing competition with China and Russia all fuel this massive spending spree. Indeed, many nations on this planet have some sort of military rivalry with a neighbor which fuels spending and development of large armed forces.
With the burgeoning increase of advanced technological aid being used in armed combat, here is a list of ten of the top-secret advanced military weapons that have been previously utilized in times of conflict.
1. INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILE Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) are a major nuclear deterrent and only a few nations possess the technology to launch such long-range weaponry. With R-36M (SS-18 Satan) as the world's longest range Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of 16,000km. With a weight of 8.8t, the R-36M is also the heaviest ICBM in the world.
2. F-22 RAPTOR This secret weapon is currently the only operational fifth generation fighter in the world. The F-22 Raptor is capable of cruising at Mach 1.82 (1,220 miles an hour) without afterburner. It carries up to two AIM-9X short-range and six AIM-120 medium-range anti-aircraft missiles in the fighter role and can carry precision-guided air to ground weapons in the ground attack role, with a stealthy, single-seat fighter with the ground attack, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare capabilities.
3. B-2 SPIRIT Bat-winged B-2 Spirit bomber is one of the deadliest top secret weapons in the world. Originally conceived as a strategic nuclear bomber, the B-2 was modified at the end of the Cold War to also serve as a conventional bomber. The B-2’s ability to penetrate air defense networks, carry up to forty tons of satellite-guided bombs and travel up to 6,000 miles without refueling, make it possibly the most lethal weapon system currently in existence.
4. F-35 LIGHTNING II America’s next generation fighter-bomber meant to replace existing aircraft such as the F-16, F/A-18C, and A-10, is the F-35 Lightning II, with an advanced suite of sensors that add intelligence collection, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare capabilities.
5. POWERFUL ELECTROMAGNETIC RAIL GUN The EM Railgun launcher is a long-range US Military experiment weapon that shoots via electromagnetic power at a speed of 3km/s (1.9m/s). It is a gun that uses just electricity, with no gun powder. It fires projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants. Magnetic fields created by high electrical currents accelerate a sliding metal conductor, or armature, between two rails to launch projectiles at 4,500 mph.
6. VIRGINIA-CLASS SUBMARINE The most advanced nuclear submarine weapon in the world is Virginia – class attack submarines first introduced in 2004. The submarines are armed with four torpedo tubes armed with a mixture of Mk.48 guided torpedoes and Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
7. AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS SYSTEM: THE MILITARY SMARTEST TOYS According to the U.S Department of Defence, “Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) are weapon system(s) that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator.” It is popularly referred to as the military robot or remote-controlled mobile robots designed for military applications, from search, transport, rescue, and attack.
8. LASER WEAPON SYSTEM (LAWS) Unlike traditional naval guns, Laser Weapon Systems, known as Laws in military jargon, are measured in kilowatts as opposed to caliber. The US Navy develops laser weapon prototype for destroyers.
9. FORD-CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIERS One of the symbols of American power projection since the end of the Second World War is the aircraft carrier. The American carriers typically displace up to 100,000 tons fully loaded.
While Beijing's and other nation’s military power are growing, Washington still retains advantages that make it worthy of the title "superpower.”