Ten Giant Weapons in the Pentagon's Shrinking Budget

By Emma Fidel - 2013-02-19T20:46:05Z

Photograph by Lockheed Martin Corp. via Bloomberg

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F-35

Project cost: $395.7 billion

FY 2013 estimate: $9.4 billion

The radar-evading F-35 fighter jet is the most expensive weapon system in U.S. history. Designed as a stealthy fighter that can avoid radar detection, the F-35 is seven years behind schedule. The Pentagon estimates the cost for development and production of 2,443 F-35s will be $331.9 billion for the aircraft and $63.9 billion for the engines. That's a 70 percent increase since 2001, when the contracts were first signed with Lockheed Martin. “Putting the F-35 into production years before the first flight test was acquisition malpractice,” Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, said in February 2012. “Now we're paying the price for being wrong about that,” he added.

Read more on the F-35 in the defense-spending series here.

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