Friday, July 13, 2012

Are The Taxpayers Getting A Good Deal With The F-35?

In lieu of the growing $1.5 trillion price tag on the Joint Strike Fighter, officials at Lockheed Martin, the plane’s developer, say the price tag will come down as time goes on. While many in the media have jumped at the chance to criticize the growing cost, the company’s projections take inflation, raising gas prices and other factors into account. Plus, it would cost the Pentagon more than three times that to update the most current fleet of fourth-generation fighters. 

The hefty price tag hasn’t deterred international buyers from jumping on the F-35 bandwagon. So far, more than 25 countries have expressed interest in buying the planes. In the United States, the planes are expected to replace others in three services — Air Force, Navy and Marines. Experts have predicted by the time the most common variant of the plane is in its tenth production lot, the price per plane will have dropped to a cool $100 million — and will continue to fall. Granted, this price is for the standard model. Buyers will have to fork over additional dough in order to outfit the planes with more weapons and spare parts.

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