Destroying a IS pickup truck can cost US $500,000
Destroying a $30,000 Islamic State pickup truck can cost US $500,000
Each U.S. “strike” against the self-proclaimed Islamic State can involve several aircraft and munitions and cost up to $500,000, according to Todd Harrison, an expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington-based defense think tank.
Harrison said the cheapest possible strike could cost roughly $50,000 — assuming a single plane dropping one of the cheaper types of bombs. But the majority of airstrikes cost much more, involving F-15s, F-16s, F-22s and other aircraft that cost $9,000 to upward of $20,000 per hour to operate and explosives that cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Harrison noted that each strike’s price “depends on the distance to the target site, how long it may need to loiter, what type of aircraft is used, and whether it needs aerial refueling (and how many times).”