The U.S. government now estimates the costs of operating and maintaining the Lockheed Martin-F-35 jet at $857 billion, 20 percent less than previous figures that exceeded $1 trillion, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Andrea Shalal-Esa writes the Defense Department based the new figures on data detailing the fighter jet’s more than 7,000 hours of test flights and revised usage and maintenance measures.
An unnamed official told Reuters that Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program lead, has submitted the cost projection to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Another defense official told Reuters the Pentagon’s cost assessment and program evaluation office estimates F-35B’s cost per flying hour to be more than $41,000.
The U.S. Marine Corps believes it will cut plane’s operating costs by $12.3 billion over the next 50 years, Shalal-Esa reports.
Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation, told Reuters the Marines intend to fly the jets in short takeoff and vertical landing mode for 10 percent of the time.