There are way too many zeros being tossed about…
From the 10 July 2009 Washington Post regarding the F-22 cancellation:
After deciding to cancel the program, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates called the $65 billion fleet a “niche silver-bullet solution” to a major aerial war threat that remains distant.
187 F-22s for $65 billion. Cost per unit about $348 million each.
Here’s what DoD Buzz says about the F-35 as of 1 June 2010:
The price tag of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the military’s largest weapons program, has jumped once again and is now projected to cost $382 billion.
At 2443 planes, that’s a bit over $156 million each, and not the $112 million listed in the headline. I guess the F-35 the non-niche, lead-bullet solution? Is it possible to make shipbuilding and space look like a bargain?
So if flying hour costs are about the same and assuming the F-22 is twice as capable (however that might be defined) as an F-35, it’s pretty much a wash, right?
Still, once flying hour costs are figured in, is is possible these planes will bankrupt the Air Force?