The Defense Department estimates the cost of purchasing 2,457 F-35 aircraft through 2032 will reach $327 billion and the engines will cost $64 billion total, the Lexington Institute reported Friday.
Loren Thompson writes the DoD’s Selected Acquisition Report projected the 30-year purchasing cost of 2,457 F-35 aircraft to decline by $4.94 billion because of reduced labor estimates and low-production costs.
The selected acquisition report marks the first time the DoD has reduced the estimated cost of the aircraft.
Aircraft contractor Lockheed Martin expects the cost of a single-engine F-35 variant for the U.S. Air Force to equal the current price of an F-16 by the end of the decade, according to the Lexington Institute article.
Thompson writes the government estimates the maintenance cost of these planes to reach more than $1 trillion over 50 years.
On top of aircraft carriers, the F-35 program yielded a 50-year life cycle cost estimate, Thompson noted.