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.