Cost of buying and operating 2443 F35s is estimated to be $1.3 trillion

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (Stealth multirole fighter) program is now projected to cost $1.3 trillion dollars to operate and maintain over its 30-year lifetime

Ashton Carter, under-secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said that the new $133 million price per aircraft was not affordable.

Lawmakers Want Backup Plan After Carter Calls JSF Costs ‘Unaffordable’

The Pentagon’s top arms buyer this week called current cost projections for the Joint Strike Fighter “unaffordable,” triggering a bipartisan group of senators to demand a Defense Department contingency plan for how tactical air forces would be modernized should the F-35 program collapse under the weight of its forecasted $1.3 trillion price tag.

The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 F35 aircraft. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The F-35 has three main models; one is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.

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