March 11th, 2010
08:35 PM ET

Pentagon's future fighter aircraft doubles in cost

The cost of the Pentagon's newest fighter jet will be more than double the original price, solidifying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as the most expensive Pentagon weapons program ever.

At a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyers said numerous problems over the almost ten year program have forced the cost of the aircraft to go from $50 million a jet in 2001 to something closer to $113 million today.

That cost overrun has also forced the Pentagon to justify the program to Congress under law.

Outrage about the cost among the Senate panel was expected, including that from the Chairman of the Armed Service Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan.

"This committee has been a strong supporter of the JSF program from the beginning, however, people should not conclude that we're going to be willing to continue that strong support without regard to increased costs coming from poor program management," Levin said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the ranking member, had been pushing for a hearing on the program.

"The taxpayers are a little tired of this, and I can't say that I can
blame them," McCain said.

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Filed under: Military • U.S.
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Charles Michener

    Come on - we have drones now and in the pipeline that can do the missions. Spend more on them and drop the 113 M birds - you can buy a lot of drones for 113 M

    March 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan Mark

    $113,000,000 per plane is an extravagant waste of money, especially in a time when money is tight. People complain about the size of the bailout!?
    The planes are a waste of money because they are made in preparation for a style of conventional warfare which simply isn't relevant anymore. Today's wars are fought on the ground, in homes, on city streets, and in human networks-and I don't see where the F-35 fits into that picture. I think it would be better to spend that money to win the war we are actually supposed to be fighting (and not losing)... Afghanistan.

    March 16, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |