The tri-service F-35 fighter is wrapping up a very successful development program. All key performance requirements have been met, the cost of each variant is coming down, and the fighter wins every overseas sales competition in which it is entered. So the F-35 is finally getting some positive media coverage, right? Well, not exactly. Now reporters are starting to focus on how much it will cost to keep the plane flying through 2070. The most commonly heard figure is a trillion dollars. But that estimate is outdated and very misleading. The real number is likely to be much less. I have written a commentary for Forbes here explaining what’s wrong with the trillion-dollar figure.
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