The 95 aircraft are 14 more than requested by the Pentagon. The committee also authorized the US Air Force to keep six F-35As originally built for Turkey but never delivered, which further increases to 101 the number of F-35s that the Pentagon will order in FY2021.
The NDAA is an annual bill setting policy for the Department of Defense, and must be reconciled with a similar document produced by the House Armed Services Committee before it can become law.
This is the NDAA’s precise wording on the F-35 program as approved by the Senate Committee:
The NDAA “Authorizes $9.1 billion to procure 95 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, an additional 14 aircraft above the administration’s request, enabling the forces to modernize and equip themselves with the most advanced and capable fifth-generation aircraft:
-- Includes $5.5 billion to procure 60 F-35As, ($91.6 million each—Ed.)
-- Includes $1.2 billion to procure 12 F-35Bs, ($100 million each—Ed.)
-- Includes $2.4 billion to procure 23 F-35Cs, ($104.3 million each—Ed.)
-- Addresses the lack of strategy for the redesign of the Autonomic Logistics Information System,
-- Authorizes the Air Force to utilize, modify, and operate six Turkish F-35s that were accepted but never delivered because Turkey was suspended from the F-35 program,
-- Requires NATO partner F-35 munitions to be qualified on F-35s,
-- Continues efforts to find cost savings for the F-35 aircraft [and]
-- Encourages the Air Force to establish an F-35A operating location in the Indo-Pacific quickly to posture ready forces in our priority arena.”
The unit costs extrapolated between parenthesis above are substantially higher than those claimed by Lockheed Martin, which continues to claim unit costs of less than $80 million.
They are also nearly double those projected by Lockheed as recently as six years ago, as demonstrated here:
Just found this slide from six years ago.— Steve Trimble (@TheDEWLine) June 12, 2020
Lockheed predicted F-35As delivered this year would cost $55-60M in FY12$ (~$62-68M today).
Actual price: $82.4M.
Also predicted deliveries would be about 180, but the actual is 141 (although COVID impact may lower that to 117-124). pic.twitter.com/yHmy0ShcUC