Defense Dept. says F-35 fighter program's costs to significantly rise

The Fort Worth Star-TelegramApril 7, 2010 

Defense Department officials have told Congress that the already ballooning costs of the F-35 joint strike fighter are likely to soar much higher when new estimates are completed in the summer.

In the Selected Acquisition Report for the F-35, a detailed document sent to Congress on Thursday, the Pentagon said it expects that cost studies now under way will produce estimates dramatically higher than those used in recent months to prepare the 2011 defense budget request.

Based on figures in the document, the average cost of one F-35 — $62 million when the program was launched in 2002 — could rise to $115.5 million, not counting inflation, by the time all 2,457 planes that the U.S. plans to buy are built.

Including inflation, the government now expects each F-35 to cost an average of $133.6 million. But even that figure could swell to more than $150 million when revised estimates are completed in June.

The report was obtained by the online news service InsideDefense.com, which reported it in a story posted on its Web site Wednesday. The Star-Telegram obtained its own copy of the report.

To read the complete article, visit www.star-telegram.com.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service