Some people like to knock the Lockheed Martin F-22 for costing $140 million a piece, excluding all expenses for development and spares.
But not to worry! The next fighter coming along -- Lockheed's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter -- is supposed to be based on affordability, with a flyaway cost at roughly one-third of the F-22's price tag using 2001 dollars.
So, let's see how the F-35 measures up.
The US Navy and US Marine Corps plan to buy a total of 680 F-35Bs and F-35Cs over the next 15-20 years. The FY2009 budget contains budget projections for the remainder of the program. Note that this includes only procurement cost. Amortized development and spares costs are excluded.
Year Aircraft Average unit cost/aircraft
FY2008: 6 $184.2 million
FY2009: 8 $200.2 million
FY2010: 18 $172.3 million
FY2011: 19 $146.4 million
FY2012: 40 $124.4 million
FY2013: 42 $115.1 million
Remainder: 547 $109.3 million
Total: 680 $115 million