Many of America’s warships set sail absolutely packed with missiles. A single Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser has 122 Mark 41 vertical launch system (VLS) cells, each of which can handle one of a wide array of individual missiles, or four Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs). Even America’s carriers are bristling with missile-based point defenses. While the capabilities the Navy’s array of ship-launched missiles provides are fairly well known, at least conceptually, the staggering cost of each of these weapons is not. Now, just as we did with air-launched weapons and decoy flares, we aim to change that.
The War Zone has collected the latest unit costs of these weapons to give readers a sense of just how much it is spending to arm its fleet. It should be stressed that these are the prices for just the individual weapons and the figures do not factor in any future spending on support services, modifications, upgrades, or past spending on the weapons’ development.