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Big-time Investment

March 30, 2011—The Defense Department has spent $56.1 billion developing and procuring F-35 strike fighter variants for the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy since 1994. Officials at the Government Accountability Office estimate DOD will spend another $272.2 billion on development and procurement from Fiscal 2011 through program completion in Fiscal 2035, Michael Sullivan, GAO's director of acquisition and sourcing management, told House lawmakers earlier this month. That's an annual average of $11 billion over that period. Those funding levels do not include additional increases related to the June 2010 Nunn-McCurdy breech, nor do they include funding changes outlined in the Pentagon's Fiscal 2012 budget request. The Air Force intends to spend $28.5 billion for 203 F-35A conventional variants from Fiscal 2012 through Fiscal 2016, according to Sullivan.

Source: Prepared statement of Michael Sullivan, Government Accountability Office director of acquisition and sourcing management, to the House Armed Services Committee's tactical air and land forces panel, March 15, 2011. (Document)