Department of Defense data shows the estimated cost to build and acquire Lockheed Martin-built F-35s has increased by 3.5 percent to $412 billion, up $14 billion from the previous estimate of $398 billion, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
According to the Pentagon’s Selected Acquisition Report, the latest cost estimate includes 2,470 planned fighter aircraft for the U.S. military, including 14 test planes, and does not cover long-term fleet operation and maintenance cost, which is projected at $1.3 trillion.
Russell Goemaere, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 office, said the latest actual contract costs, inflation, contract negotiation data, changes in planned quantities and additional years of spending on research and development were factored into the program’s updated cost estimate.
The report noted that ongoing discussions over contracts for the aircraft’s lots 15 through 17 and installation costs associated with software and hardware upgrades have the “potential to influence” the requested appropriations for 2024 and over the next five years.
In July, DOD and Lockheed reached a “handshake” deal for up to 375 jets under the three batches.