Pentagon FY 2018 Report Shows No Drop in F-35 Costs
(Source: Compiled by; issued May 23, 2017)
Contrary to what is often claimed, the cost of the F-35 is not dropping each year. The Pentagon will pay an average of $130.24 million for each F-35 it buys in FY 2018, practically the same as the $130.65 million it paid in FY2017. (DoD document)
PARIS -- The average cost of F-35 fighters will not drop in FY 2018, according to the “Program Acquisition Cost by Weapon System” report released on May 23 by the Pentagon Comptroller.

As shown in the table below, the F-35 fighters funded in the FY 2018 budget will cost, on average, $130.24 million, practically unchanged from $130.65 million in FY 2017.

These figures reflect budgeted acquisition costs, rather than pricing by Low-Rate Initial Production lot as favored by the F-35 Joint Program Office. They do not include RDT&E costs, which for FY 2018 are pegged at $1.178 billion, nor spare parts, which add another $542.8 million.

The breakdown of F-35s funded by the FY 2018 budget is of 46 F-35A CTOL for the Air Force, 20 F-35B STOVL for the Marine Corps, and 4 F-35C CV for the Navy.

It is difficult to see, given these figures, how unit cost could drop to $85 million in FY 2019, as repeatedly promised by Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan, the head of the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Click here for the Comptroller’s FY 2018 report (87 PDF pages) on the DoD website.


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