Thursday, December 15, 2011

Caveat emptor . . .

THE LAST F-22 HAS BEEN BUILT. According to David Axe, at WIRED, in an article, "Buyer’s Remorse: How Much Has the F-22 Really Cost?". Scary stuff:

So what’s the cost? As little as $137 million per jet and as much as $678 million, depending on how and what you count. The thing is, the best way of calculating the F-22′s cost may be the most abstract. But any way you crunch the numbers, the world’s best dogfighter has also been one of the most expensive operational warplanes ever.

OUCH! So, why should you care? Well, the article has an interesting comment on the F-35:

By contrast, the F-35′s unit cost should stabilize at around $157 million, owing to a massive 2,443-plane production run. That’s assuming the Joint Strike Fighter doesn’t get canceled or curtailed following revelations of new design flaws.

• • •

F-35 lifecycle plus unit cost, assuming nothing else goes wrong? $469 million, according to Air Force figures quoted by the GAO.

So: F-35's are going to be around 157 million dollars a piece, and almost $500 million EACH over their service-time? The Super Hornet gets better and better.

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