The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s price is set to fall considerably once the jet goes into full production—so says the military head of the F-35 program. Meanwhile, however, the Pentagon has stopped accepting new jets over a disagreement about who pays for costly repairs to fix problems that went undetected during the manufacturing process.
First, the good news about the F-35's cost. According to Vice Admiral Mat Winter, director of the F-35 program, all three versions of the F-35 will drop below the $100 million mark once the plane goes into full rate production.
Currently, the F-35 is in what the Pentagon calls Low Rate Initial Production, or LRIP. Jets purchased in 2016 belong to LRIP 16 and are being manufactured as we speak. The Air Force F-35A version costs $94.3 million, the Navy F-35C costs $121.2 million, and the Marine Corps F-35B costs $122.4 million apiece.