03:46 GMT +313 December 2019
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    An F-35 being refueled at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

    F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Costs Drop by $7.5 Billion - Pentagon

    Samuel King Jr./ for U.S. Air Force
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    The overall F-35 program costs decreased from $398.6 billion to $391.1 billion, according to a US Department of Defense acquisition report.


    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Estimated program costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program decreased 1.9 percent, according to a US Department of Defense acquisition report released on Thursday.

    "Overall F-35 program costs decreased $7.5 billion from $398.6 billion to $391.1 billion," the report said.

    The report cited reduced labor costs and revised inflation estimates for the decline. However, the decreases were offset by an increase of $4.4 billion for revised costs for airframe estimates.

    The estimated cost for the F-35 engine also decreased by $1.6 billion, or $2.3 percent, from $68.6 billion to $67.0 billion.

    The F-35 is a single-seat, single-engine strike fighter with stealth technology meant to be the US military's premier multi-use fighter aircraft.

    The Joint Strike Fighter program is largely funded by the United States, which plans to buy 2,443 F-35 aircraft, according to the aircraft’s producer Lockheed Martin. Nearly a dozen countries plan to use the F-35 fighter.

    The fighter's development has been beset by delays, cost overruns and technical problems.

    The 2016 Defense Department budget includes $10.6 billion in funding for the procurement of 57 F-35 aircraft for the US Air Force, Navy and Marines, out of total aircraft procurement for the three services of nearly $37 billion.



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