Military aircraft costs

F22 (costs are inflation-adjusted):

1988 – 60 million USD per plane flyaway (est.)

2005 – 258 million USD per plane

2006 – 361 million USD per plane (177,6 million USD per plane flyaway cost)

2008 – 177 – 216 million USD per plane flyaway cost

2009 – 218 million USD flyaway (3. month), 250 million USD flyaway (8. month)  more more2

2011 – 412 million USD per plane

2012 – 425 million USD per plane link

By 2014, it could have increased to 477 million USD per aircraft in FY2014 USD.

150 million USD official flyaway cost

678 million USD lifecycle cost

61 000 USD per hour of flight operating cost

F35:

2001 – 84.2 million USD per plane

2011 – 207.6 million USD per plane w.s. flyaway (304.15 million USD per plane with R&D)

2012 – 197 million USD for F35A, 237,7 million USD for F35B, and 236,8 million USD for F35C

(all weapons system flyaway)

2013 – 176.5 million USD F-35A, 236,8 million USD F-35C

2014 – 182 million USD F-35A, 252 million USD F-35B, 299 million USD F-35C (production cost) (later increased to 185,4 million USD for F-35A). 480,77 million USD F-35A unit procurement cost.

PAK FA

2011 – 110 million USD per plane flyaway cost

EFT (UK version):

2006 – 143,8 million USD per plane program unit cost (118,6 million USD per plane w.s. flyaway), Tranche 2 (?) (102,8 and 141,9 million USD German version).

2008 – 122 million USD per plane (68.9 million GBP, 77.7 million EUR) w.s. flyaway

2009 – 90 million EUR per plane (141 million USD) (Tranche 3)

2011 – 199 million USD per plane program unit cost (121,5 million USD per w.s. plane flyaway), Tranche 3

18 000 USD per hour of flight operating cost

Dassault Rafale

Rafale C

2008 – 82.3 million USD flyaway cost (68,8 million USD without VAT; VAT is 19,6%); 135.8 million USD unit program cost

2011 – 88,8 million USD unit flyaway

2014 – 92,7 million USD flyaway cost

Rafale M

2008 – 90.5 million USD flyaway cost (75,7 million USD without VAT); 145.7 million USD unit program cost

2011 – 102 million USD unit flyaway

2014 – 109,6 million USD flyaway cost

Rafale B

2011 – 95,6 million USD unit flyaway

2014 – 102,6 million USD flyaway cost

10 000 Euros for Rafale C and B, 7 000 Euros for Rafale M per hour of flight in 2012; 19 000 USD per hour of flight in combat operations in Mali

F15 (flyaway)

1998 – 30 million USD per plane (42,57 million USD per plane in 2012 dollars)

2006 (F15K) – 100 million USD per plane

2006 (F-15C) – 108,2 million USD per plane

30 000 USD per hour of flight F-15C, 28 000 F-15E

F16 (flyaway)

1998 – 18.8 million USD per plane (26,3 million USD per plane in 2012 dollars)

2009 – 60 million USD per plane

2013 – 30 million USD F-16A, 70 million USD F-16C

2012 – 4 600 – 7 000 USD per hour of flight (7 000 USD per hour block 50)

YF16

16 million USD in 2012 dollars flyaway

F18

67 million USD in 2012 dollars flyaway

2012 – 11 000 – 24 400 USD per flight hour

F-18G

66,9 million USD in 2012 dollars flyaway

A10 (flyaway)

2009 – 15 million USD per plane

2014 – 20 million USD per plane (including upgrades)

3 000 USD per flight hour

Gripen C

2008 – 35 – 40 million USD per plane flyaway; 76 million USD program cost

2014 – 43 million USD unit flyaway cost

2012 – 4 700 USD per fligh hour

Gripen E

2012 – 50-60 million USD per plane; 150 million USD with R&D costs (calculated from Swiss purchase*)

2014 – 43 million USD unit flyaway / 42 million USD unit flyaway

  • Switzerland is a development partner, and is buying 22 Gripen NG at cost of 3,1 billion Swiss franc

MiG-21-93

1993 – 18 million USD (?) (27 million USD in 2012 USD)

B2 (in 2010 USD)

1,07 billion USD flyaway cost (1,135 billion in 2012 USD)

3,17 billion USD unit procurement cost (3,36 billion in 2012 USD)

135 000 USD per flight hour in 2012

B-52

72 000 USD per flight hour in 20?

JF17

2012 – 20 – 30 million USD flyaway

Su-35

2012 – 45 – 65 million USD flyaway

AV-8B Harrier II

1996 – 24 – 30 million USD flyaway (34,28 – 44,11 million in 2012 USD)

18 900 USD per hour of flight

Harrier II Plus

1997 – 29,75 – 34,5 million USD flyaway (42,33 – 49,09 million in 2012 USD)

Su-30MK

2008 – 50 million USD flyaway (?)

NOTE: Labor and material costs are highest in Europe, followed by United States, Russia and then China. As a result, Rafale or Gripen for example would cost less than shown here if built in United States.

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4 replies

  1. Hi Picard,

    I am really curious to have your insight on the following :

    how come the Gripen ( flyaway ) costs 43 millions USD, but it is sold or proposed 100-150 millions per unit ?
    ( to Switzerland, Brasil, Indonesia for example )

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_JAS_39_Gripen#Operational_history

    I understand there is the R&D, the margin and the training/support, but for 110 millions ?

    Does one know how much did Sweden paid overall for its 100 Gripen ? ( to evaluate its ability to be deployed in large number )

    The Rafale is propose to Malaysia at 100 million euros a unit apparently…

    http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/23/rafale-appears-in-the-lead-as-malaysia-seeks-new-fighter-jets/

    Thank you !

    • “how come the Gripen ( flyaway ) costs 43 millions USD, but it is sold or proposed 100-150 millions per unit ?”

      Sale price is never the same as the flyaway price. Flyaway price is basically the production price of the aircraft + VAT and some minor things. But aircraft bought for flyaway price cannot… fly away. So when aircraft is being bought, buyer pays price of the aircraft itself + weapons + maintenance / support equipment. Sometimes there are also modifications to infrastructure (air bases etc.) required to field the new aircraft. All of this brings the end price per aircraft at twice to thrice the flyaway price, so the figures you cited fit quite nicely with Gripen’s flyaway cost I listed.

      “Does one know how much did Sweden paid overall for its 100 Gripen ? ( to evaluate its ability to be deployed in large number )”

      I believe there should be figure lying around somewhere, but again it is not just flyaway cost.

      “The Rafale is propose to Malaysia at 100 million euros a unit apparently…”

      Yes, that would make it about twice the flyaway cost (cca 50-60 million euros, IIRC).

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