Aircraft costs 2013-2015

http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2015/fy2015_p1.pdf

 

NOTE: Since spending does not include R&D or any associated equipment, it is a good indication of actual aircraft cost.

 

Pg.40:

 

FY2013

EA-18G: 967.725.000 USD for 12 aircraft – 80.643.750 USD

F/A-18E/F: 2.609.504.000 USD for 37 aircraft – 70.527.135 USD

F-35C: 917.052.000 USD for 4 aircraft – 229.263.000 USD

F-35B: 1.211.635.000 USD for 6 aircraft – 201.939.167 USD

V-22: 1.404.292.000 USD for 18 aircraft – 78.016.222 USD

 

FY2014

EA-18G: 1.915.365.000 USD for 21 aircraft – 91.207.857 USD

F-35C: 1.059.114.000 USD for 4 aircraft – 264.778.500 USD

F-35B: 1.274.559.000 USD for 6 aircraft – 212.426.500 USD

V-22: 1.435.731.000 USD for 19 aircraft – 75.564.789 USD

 

FY2015

F-35C: 689.668.000 USD for 2 aircraft – 344.834.000 USD

F-35B: 1.303.605.000 USD for 6 aircraft – 217.267.500 USD

V-22: 1.564.359.000 USD for 19 aircraft – 82.334.684 USD

 

As it can be seen, EA-18G, F-35B and F-35C all show increase in unit cost between FY2013 and FY2014, and F-35B and F-35C also show cost increase between FY2014 and FY2015. This clearly invalidates F-35 proponents’ argument that the F-35s costs are decreasing.

 

Pg.77:

 

FY2013:

F-35A: 2.761.161.000 USD for 19 aircraft – 145.324.263 USD

 

FY2014:

F-35A: 3.183.002.000 USD for 19 aircraft – 167.526.421 USD

C-130J: 477.517.000 USD for 6 aircraft – 79.586.167 USD

HC-130J: 122.121.000 USD for 1 aircraft – 122.121.000 USD

MC-130J: 349.434.000 USD for 4 aircraft – 87.358.500 USD

 

FY2015:

F-35A: 3.892.579.000 USD for 26 aircraft – 149.714.577 USD

C-130J: 580.396.000 USD for 7 aircraft – 82.913.714 USD

HC-130J: 122.121.000 USD for 1 aircraft – 122.121.000 USD

MC-130J: 218.971.000 USD for 2 aircraft 109.485.500 USD

 

As it can be seen, F-35A shows increase in cost between 2013 and 2014 instead of reduction. Only between FY2014 and FY2015 do costs decrease, but that prediction is not likely to come true, and certainly not to as large extent as predicted. More likely case (3.892.579.000 USD for 19-22 aircraft) results in an unit cost between 177 and 205 million USD.

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13 thoughts on “Aircraft costs 2013-2015

  1. Most of these costs appear to be in line with a 3% increase in cost, which is inflation.

    We probably are not going to be seeing decreases in F-35C and F-35B costs unless they use “creative” accounting anytime soon.

    The real question is, how many F-35s can they really afford? What happens after this project inevitably falls apart? Do we get some relief (Ex: a true F-16 successor) or do we get another overweight aircraft?

    The interesting ones:
    – The F35C has gone up a lot

    F-35C: 1.059.114.000 USD for 4 aircraft – 264.778.500 USD

    F-35C: 689.668.000 USD for 2 aircraft – 344.834.000 USD

    – The F35B has not gone up as much, which is curious considering it is the more problematic version

    F-35B: 1.274.559.000 USD for 6 aircraft – 212.426.500 USD

    F-35B: 1.303.605.000 USD for 6 aircraft – 217.267.500 USD

    – The F-35A though, has gone down?

    F-35A: 3.183.002.000 USD for 19 aircraft – 167.526.421 USD

    F-35A: 3.892.579.000 USD for 26 aircraft – 149.714.577 USD

    Now this is the one that really deserves analysis, since it will be bought in the greatest quantity.

    What caused this? And are the figures accurate?

    • “Most of these costs appear to be in line with a 3% increase in cost, which is inflation. ”

      Except the F-35, which is my point. As for your last question, FY2015 is a prediction, so it can be ignored, as I pointed out at the end of the article.

  2. Except the F-35, which is my point. As for your last question, FY2015 is a prediction, so it can be ignored, as I pointed out at the end of the article.

    It will be interesting in the coming year to see what the real prices are then. I expect most of the mature aircraft to be on target because most of the aircraft listed have been in service for decades. The F-35 variants though are the ones that are less likely to be stable.

      • Compounding the problem somewhat is the fact that the Pentagon has been actively trying to hide the real costs of the F-35 and its accounting systems are a mess (on purpose).

        We may never get to know how much many weapons systems really cost.

    • There probably is – since various F-35 models have maybe 30% parts commonality, some parts for the F-35A could be procured under Navy (F-35C) budgets. Namely, engines (A and C use same models), maybe radars, etc. Otherwise, such major difference in cost for two relatively similar models makes little sense.

  3. Recently the US Navy’s variant of the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter has successfully completed its first-ever landing on an aircraft carrier, marking a major milestone for the programme. Two F-35C aircraft landed on the USS Nimitz off the coast of San Diego, California, as part of the fifth-generation fighter’s initial at-sea testing phase.

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