Whew. Glad to see the federal government trying to keep things going with a fair price tag. Oh, wait…
Senior Pentagon officials on Tuesday announced the F-35 fighter and five other major weapon systems have surpassed a legal cost threshold, while also criticizing the review process that triggers the â€œNunn-McCurdy breaches.â€
The Defense Department told lawmakers the F-35 fighter program could cost as much as $382.4 billion, with each Lightning II model coming with a $92.4 million price tag, according to DoD budget documents.
Those cost estimates assume the program continues down the current path, which officials told reporters they are working to avoid. One senior Pentagon official â€“ who declined to point to a specific cost target â€” said efforts already are under way to move the overall cost of the F-35 program â€œas close as possibleâ€ back toward substantially smaller estimates crafted in 2002.
The Defense Department sent the new estimates to Congress after determining the program had breached the so-called Nunn-McCurdy statute, which requires the Pentagon to notify Congress when major defense programs experience substantial cost growth.
The JSF looks like an awesome technology, but it’s in complete disarray right now. The Navy will extend the life of its current fleet to avoid a fighter gap, and that trend isn’t too surprising.