The program’s acquisition costs rose to $406.5 billion from $379 billion, below SAR estimates, according to the report. Some of the cost rise can be attributed to the Air Force’s decision to cut the number of F-35As it purchased by 25 percent over the next six years. That led to a total program cost estimate rise of $11 billion.
The draft 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) adds 24 F-35s to what the Pentagon had asked for.
“The F-35 program remains within all cost, schedule and performance thresholds and continues to make steady progress,” said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer in a statement. “The F-35 Joint Program Office is committed to the delivery of cost-effective war fighting capability across all areas of the program and is aggressively pursuing affordability opportunities within our three lines of effort — Development, Production, Sustainment — to further drive down total program costs now and in the future.”