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F-35’s New $412 Billion Cost Estimate Is a Modest Increase By Its Standards

  • Pentagon’s estimate brings cost for US fleet to $412 billion
  • Maintaining, operating fleet still projected at $1.3 trillion
A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35A jet flies during a training mission in 2016. 
A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35A jet flies during a training mission in 2016. Source: BLOOMBERG NEWS

The Pentagon’s latest estimated cost to develop and procure the F-35 fighter jet, the world’s most expensive weapons program, has edged up to $412 billion from $398 billion, according to the Defense Department’s latest program report.

The $398 billion estimate held steady for several years before the latest 3.5% increase, outlined in the Defense Department’s new Selected Acquisition Report on major weapons.