Procurement costs relating to the F-35B have decreased by 24%.
Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse is of (a) the F-35 programme and (b) each F-35 aircraft.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, answered:
“The price of an F-35B from Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 11 which comprises the last finalised contract is $115 million. This covers airframe and engine cost and represents a 24% price reduction from our first aircraft ordered. We expect this downward trend to continue in future lots.
Costs of the overall Lightning Programme are set out in the Ministry of Defence Government Major Projects Portfolio data, 2019, which is available in the Library of the House.”
Recently, the F-35 hit two major milestones after Lockheed Martin delivered the 500th F-35 and the global F-35 fleet surpassed 250,000 flight hours.
The 500th production aircraft is a U.S. Air Force F-35A, to be delivered to the Burlington Air National Guard Base in Vermont.
The 500 hundred F-35s include 354 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants, 108 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants and 38 F-35C carrier variants for the U.S. and international customers.
The 250,000 flight hours include all F-35s in the fleet comprised of developmental test jets, training, operational, U.S. and international aircraft.
“These milestones are a testament to the talent and dedication of the joint government, military and industry teams,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin, Vice President and General Manager of the F-35 program.
Lockheed say that the F-35 operates from 23 bases worldwide. More than 985 pilots and over 8,890 maintainers are trained. Nine nations use the F-35 from their home soil, eight services have declared Initial Operating Capability and four services have employed F-35s in combat operations.