US Weaponry service length?

Many US weapons, and weapon platforms length of service in this age is remarkable, or is it?

Such weapons as the M2 (IOC 1921), M-16 Rifle (IOC 1964), and Systems like the B-52 (IOC 1954), M1A1 Abrams (IOC 1980), 688 Class SSN (IOC 1976), Nimitz Class CVN (IOC 1968). The US is still currently using and in some cases still building weapons and systems over 40 years old and nearing 90 with the M2. (The B-52 has been flying nearly 50 years, the Nimitz CVN just commissioned its last Vessel last year 40 years from the first which is still going strong!)

Is this a result of superior design and manufacturing, and technology being so far advanced at IOC or is it being somewhat cheap, using the very last bit of what can be used, until it HAS to be replaced?

4 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    if it aint broke dont fix it.

    thats one bit of common sense that has managed to weasel itself into some portions of the military, and reliable gear is occasionally left untouched. asides from a few barrel changes and the very recent addition of a safety, the M2 in service today is still essentially the same M2 originally fielded. the M16 has been through some tremendous changes, and the larger systems like the nimitz class and the b-52 have been pretty much redesigned on the inside as technologies improve. they work for what they need to though, and there isnt anyone around who can really threaten their superiority in their field. for some reason this mentality cant seem to take root in the minds of those involved with our fighter programs.

    Source(s): active duty marine
  • 1 decade ago

    The M2HB heavy machine gun as we know it today actually dates to about 1933, not 1921. The M1921 was water-cooled. The virtue of the gun is that it is so overbuilt they just don't wear out and thus are not cost-effective to replace with technically superior weapons.

    The M16 and M16A1 rifles that served in Vietnam were withdrawn from service in the United States decades ago and replaced with much updated versions. Similarly, the B-52's that fly today (in much reduced roles compared to their design) have almost no parts in common with those originally built in the 1950's. Again they remain for lack of an economical replacement.

    The Nimitz class aircraft carrier is a very dated design and not at all what one would do if designing a carrier from the ground up today. But designing a carrier is a very expensive and time consuming business which is why the design lasted so long.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i work at letterkenny army depot in carslile pa. i rebuild the abrams.they are always under going upgrades.we currently are building mraps.i can assure you.we build them as if my own was in them.27 years of service.shop forman.

  • YATYAS
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    2 Rules

    KISS

    and if it ain't broke don't fix it ( tech upgrades are ok)

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