The U.S. military spent over $42 billion in research and development in 2018. Though much of this funding tends to go to weapons programs, a great deal of military R&D often ends up also having civilian applications.
Military programs that work on new technology, materials, or gadgets have over the years contributed to the development of several consumer end products, materials used in consumer applications, medical devices, and much more. Some of these products are still made in the United States.
In fact, some of the most widely used commercial products today were originally developed for the purpose of defending the country, or were a byproduct of military research. 24/7 Wall St. identified 15 commercial products that are direct result of military research.
The United States is the world’s largest economy and it spends by far the most on its military. This includes large investments in R&D, whether through the military’s own research agencies or through contracts with private companies — known as the military-industrial complex. This relationship is still going strong, as there are dozens of companies making more than $1 billion from military contracts.