The Pentagon’s estimated cost to develop and purchase Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the costliest U.S. weapons program, has stabilized for now, according to a new report to Congress.
The total acquisition cost for the advanced fighter is projected at $406.1 billion, virtually unchanged from the $406.5 billion estimated last year, according to the Defense Department’s latest Selected Acquisition Report, which will be sent to Congress this week. The projections were obtained in advance by Bloomberg News.
Within the total -- which includes research, development and initial support such as spare parts and military construction -- the estimated cost to procure 2,456 U.S. aircraft has ticked down to $345.4 billion from $346.1 billion, or a 0.2 percent decline. (end of excerpt)
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(EDITOR’S NOTE: The latest procurement cost of $345.4 billion, divided by the 2,456 aircraft that the three US services plan to procure, implies a procurement cost of $140.6 million per aircraft.
Development costs account for the difference, or $60.1 billion, which works out to $24.7 million per aircraft.
Adding unit procurement costs ($140.6 million) to unit development costs ($24.7 million) gives an average cost of $165.3 million per aircraft, excluding fixes, upgrades, spares, tooling and other support equipment.)