A new analysis of the F-35 fighter jet shows it’s not only the most expensive warplane ever. Once the engines are added, it’s also the most expensive weapons program in history.
Defense analyst Winslow Wheeler broke down the costs of the jet’s various versions and found they range from $148 million (Air Force F-35A) to $337 million (Navy F-35C). The Marine Corps’ F-35B lands in between at $251 million.
“It gets worse,” said Wheeler. “These are just the production costs. Additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included.”
Wheeler’s numbers are based on a Senate Appropriations Committee report on the Pentagon’s 2015 appropriations bill.
The price tags far exceed previous projections.