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12 Military Weapons That Never Saw A Battlefield

Mark Andrew

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Technology has always been a huge player when it comes to warfare. In addition to intelligent strategy, modern weaponry often makes the biggest difference when it comes to gaining the upper hand during times of war.

With huge funding behind its back, anyone can easily assume that the United States Military has the best toys in the industry.

Sure, that is usually the case but as you will learn on the post below, there are instances when weapon inventors and designers came up with total failure and complete crap.

Hard to believe, you say? Well, feel free to scroll down and check out these military weapons that, for good reasons, have never seen the light of day.

#1. VZ-1 Pawnee

#1. VZ-1 Pawnee

Powered by two rotors, this flying platform allows a soldier to fire from the air. It also exposes him and the expensive craft to danger, making him an easy target because the vehicle flew too slow.

#2. RAH-66 Comanche

#2. RAH-66 Comanche

Speaking of expensive, this helicopter aimed to merge high-speed data links and stealth technology. It costed $6.9 billion but the project was eventually shelved because of engineering troubles.

#3. Gyrojet

#3. Gyrojet

This gun fires small rockets instead of bullets so it should be cool, right? Well, no. The Gyrojet never ran out of problems – it jammed too often and was practically useless at close range. To its credit though, it made a cameo on “You Only Live Twice,” a 1967 James Bond film.

#4. The Tailsitter

#4. The Tailsitter

As its name literally implies, this 1950s aircraft stands on the ground and aims to fly without needing a lot of runway space. The idea sounded nice on the outset but proved to be unnecessarily difficult for pilots.

#5. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)

#5. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)

The fall of Soviet Union led to the demise of this project. Initially, it was intended to fire watermelon-sized tungsten.

#6. Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Test Bed

#6. Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Test Bed

Experts lauded this as the “closest thing on Earth to the Death Star.” The aircraft was supposed to carry chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) modules but the government decided to terminate the project since it can only carry six of these weapons.

#7. Armed Ground Robots

#7. Armed Ground Robots

These unmanned armed ground robots were deployed to Iraq but never on the battlefield itself. Reasons weren’t specified but according to rumors, the bots locked up and kept rolling, resisting human control.

#8. Hafner Rotabuggy

#8. Hafner Rotabuggy

Yep, this one is a flying jeep which is, you guessed it, a take on the sci-fi concept of flying cars – another project that never took off the ground. Pun intended!

#9. XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon

#9. XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon

Looking more like a video game weapon than actual military handgun, the XM29 had the capability to fire 5.56-mm bullets and explosive 20-mms. The concept was broken into two with the XM8 rifle being shelved in 2005 and the XM25 airburst weapon still in pending status.

#10. The Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV)

#10. The Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV)

This massive spy airship measured 250 feet in length, is optionally manned, and can carry a 2750-pound sensor payload. Although it showed potential, it was eventually cancelled because it was costly and the project often had delays.

#11. Antonov A-40


The Antonov A-40 was technically a Russian tank with wings attached. The goal is to find a faster and safer way to deploy tanks directly into the hot battlefields. Unfortunately, it didn’t even survived past the first test flight due to several issues such as being too heavy. Of course, it’s a freaking tank. What do you expect?

#12. Tsar Tank

This Russian tank developed during World War 1 used a tricycle design. The front wheels were 27 feet in height and each wheel received 250 horsepower. The objective was to drive right over trenches. Unfortunately, the Tsar Tank just couldn’t achieve it. The smaller rear wheel would often cause the whole tank to become stuck while its massive front wheels lacks sufficient armor making it a huge easy target. It didn’t make it much past initial testing.

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