If there is anything that Hollywood has taught us with their relentless sequels, remakes, and feminazi updates of beloved classic films, newer does not necessarily equate to a superior product. As strange as it may seem at first glance, certain pieces of military hardware also fit into this same category.
Like with modern Hollywood blockbusters, the speed, visuals, and “fireworks” of newer military machines are not always technically more impressive. Newer military technology often merely complements older hardware, not fully replacing it.
This article will show five pieces of military equipment older than 45 years that are still satisfactorily performing their intended duties in the 2010’s. They will be presented from newest to oldest.
1. F-15 Eagle (1972)
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is a tactical fighter aircraft which was designed in the late 1960’s (with it’s first fully functional flights attained in 1972) to gain and maintain
white air supremacy and oppress all other (presumably Marxist or Muslim) fiends of the 1970’s sky who dared to seek ‘equality’. This jet-powered toy box of destruction is like the Floyd Mayweather of fighter aircraft, currently undefeated in aerial combat with over 100 victories to zero losses in over 40 years of service among several national air forces.
Though technologically surpassed by the stealth enhanced F-22 Raptor in the USAF, the Eagle nonetheless remains a fast and fearsome weapon, and the United States military is reluctant to send an excess amount of F-15’s either to the scrapheap or the Arizona Boneyard until the 2030’s. It’s long length of service, along with it’s flawless air-to-air kill ratio, means that this will probably go down in history as the best overall fighter jet ever produced.
2. M61 Vulcan (1959)
The M61 Vulcan is a six-barrel rotary cannon which has been dishing out 6,000 rounds per minute (yup, no typo there) of 20mm mayhem since 1959, or before most Americans had ever even heard of John F. Kennedy. Though typically attached to fixed-wing aircraft for practical purposes (high velocity aircraft require a high velocity rate of fire), the Vulcan is best known to the general public for it’s extreme overkill usage in ground combat by action movie stars Jesse Ventura in Predator, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2.
Clearly if you want to transition from being an action hero to a state governor, you had better have experience with “old painless”, the same exact M61 which was used in both films. Don’t worry, you are in no rush, because there is nothing on the horizon which looks to replace this weapon for it’s intended purpose.
Note: If the U.S. domestic terrorist organization “Black Lives Matter” took possession of an M61 Vulcan, there would be a lot more police casualties in this scene compared to the 0.0 inflicted by the Terminator.
3. B-52 Stratofortress (1952)
2017 marks the 65th maiden flight birthday of the Stratofortress, and this grandpa aircraft has absolutely no intention of going on medicaid and calling it quits for some time to come. This Cold War era bombers long operational range, giant payload capability, and relatively low operating costs will keep it alive as a major player in U.S. military power until 2045, an incredible 90 years after it’s formal introduction to the USAF in 1955.
From Chuck Berry to a hypothetical President Chelsea Clinton (please Lord don’t make it happen), the B-52 will have seen it all by the time it’s finally due to turn the engines off for good. Impressive, and at the same time somewhat disconcerting that we seem to have long reached a technological apex in aircraft capabilities.
4. AK-47 (1946)
Designed towards the end of ‘The Great Patriotic War’ (Russia’s name for World War II), the AK-47 was intended to serve nationally as a local answer to Nazi Germany’s StG 44 (the world’s first assault rifle), as well as fulfill Mikhail Kalashnikov’s personal wish to deter any future conquests of his homeland; essentially, to achieve “peace through superior firepower“.
So far his plan has worked in staving off another Napoleon or (literally) Hitler type from invading Russia, but the AK-47 has hardly been the bringer of peace to just about any other part of the globe. The weapons raw killing power, ease of use, and reliability in less than ideal conditions has made it the world’s most popular assault rifle, now over 70 years since it was first showcased in 1946.
It is likely to be seen around the world on a regular basis, in conflicts big and small, for many decades to come.
5. M114 Howitzer (1942)
The World War II era M114 Howitzer has continued to remain in circulation for more years than many men can expect to draw breath on this Earth—75 years and counting.
While it has now been twice surpassed in overall performance and mobility by the U.S. army’s M198 (1979) and now the M777 (2005), the artillery pieces long range and high degree of accuracy (when provided with precise coordinates) means that many other armed forces around the world see no inherent need to retire whatever M114 arsenals they possess. Several advanced countries like South Korea and Taiwan are no exception.
One day, somewhere and someplace, the M114 will fire it’s final shell. But until that day comes, a piece of World War II military equipment which is still deemed practical for bombarding a fixed position in the 2010’s is quite a claim to fame.