Take a look at the U.S. DOD FY2013 budget proposal. Some of these weapons systems used to be “affordable”.
The sample below represents the total acquisition cost for each item in the FY2013 budget proposal.
Back in the 1990's the JASSM was supposed to be an affordable cruise missile at around 400k each. Remember Powell complaining about bouncing rubble with million dollar cruise missiles in Desert Storm? Well, that "affordable' post Desert Storm JASSM is now shockingly high. At $1.57 mil each, it better be one heck of a target to be worth that money. And; the JASSM has had some significant troubles over the years performing up to any reasonable level....in highly scripted range events. Some recent tests have been good, but I wonder what will happen if a USAF general points to a bomber unit and has them do no-notice live-fire tests on different production lots gathering dust in the igloos.
The other part of that is that the accuracy of cruise missiles is always a tightly guarded secret. Hint; they didn't do all that well in Desert Storm, yes that was a long time ago, but I'm not so convinced on the bang for the buck. Granted it beats sending a pilot to a fixed target, but in the case of Libya, the air defense was so weak that it didn't require cruise missiles. It was more for show. A JDAM party would have been fine.
The JSOW now costs what a JASSM was supposed to cost. JSOW was supposed to be around the 200k region depending on variant.
JDAM was supposed to be around 18k per kit. Today those kits are 33k each.
The AIM-120 has taken a giant leap for defense contractor kind; well beyond the cost of the JA$$M.
I don't think I am getting that old. I am just a bit concerned about what we are buying.