Things That Make You Go Boom: U.S. Spending On Military Aircraft Surges Most Since September 11

Tyler Durden's picture

Now that the subprime-funded "growth dynamo" that kept the US economy chugging along over the past year has finally choked, as we saw yesterday when auto sales posted the weakest print in half a year, there is just one industry that is keeping US factory orders, which have already declined for 13 consecutive months, from an all out implosion.


As the chart below shows, spending on military aircraft (and parts), mostly purchased by US "allies" in the middle east and elsewhere, just soared to $8.2 billion, a 46.9% jump in one month, and the highest monthly spending spree since... Sept.11.

Thank you war.

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SheepRevolution's picture

USA - bombing the world into economic growth and prosperity since 2001, and beyond...

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) SheepRevolution Jan 6, 2016 10:36 AM

F-35 Turdfighter© is not occupy hangar space for cheap...

Stuck on Zero's picture

That huge burst of spending is for one F35.

J S Bach's picture

That great resurging American industry - "war" - will come to a screeching halt once the phony dollar loses its world-reserve status.  This is one reason why they are so deparate to protect it militarily.

Soul Glow's picture


HowdyDoody's picture

Couple with previous headline

US Factory Orders Deep In Recession - Tumble YoY For 13th Month In A Row

So even with massive US military expenditure, US factory orders are tumbling


iClaudius's picture

"That huge burst of spending is for one F35."
They'll need two, one for spare parts.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

The F35 is military grade fairy dust that is custom made, so cost will be just a tiny bit higher.....

Hal n back's picture

can't wait to see deficit--of course since this was not budgeted, the budget deficit will not be harmed. Just the debt increase.


stumbLebum's picture
stumbLebum (not verified) SheepRevolution Jan 6, 2016 11:54 AM

America is the preeminent manufacturer of sophisticated high technology weaponry worldwide. We do it better than anybody.

Max Steel's picture

Whatever helps you sleep .

cordial savage's picture

This article lists 'US spending' and 'mostly purchased by US "allies"'...are those one and the same?  What am I missing here?

Tyler Durden's picture

US - and US corporations - is the recipient of the funds, with the government as an intermediary. The cash comes from offshore

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Gotta protect r freedoms and constitution and all that.

nuubee's picture

I'm going to guess that Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia are the big spenders, meaning that the defense profits are literally on the backs of instability in the middle east.

BullyBearish's picture

All according to the Rothschild Formula:

1. War is the ultimate discipline to any government. If it can successfully meet the challenge of war, it will survive. If tt cannot, it will perish. All else is secondary. The sanctity of its laws, the prosperity of its citizens, and the solvency of its treasury will be quickly sacrificed by any government in its primal act of self-survival.

2. All that is necessary, therefore, to insure that a government will maintain or expand its debt is to involve it in war or the threat of war. The greater the threat and the more destructive the war, the greater the need for debt.

3. To involve a country in war or the threat of war, it will be necessary for it to have enemies with credible military might. If such enemies already exist, all the better. If they exist but lack military strength, it will be necessary to provide them the money to build their war machine. If an enemy does not exist at all, then it will be necessary to create one by financing the rise of a hostile regime.

4. The ultimate obstacle is a government which declines to finance its wars through debt. Although this seldom happens, when it does, it will be necessary to encourage internal political opposition, insurrection, or revolution to replace that government with one that is more compliant to our will. The assassination of heads of state could play an important role in this process.

5. No nation can be allowed to remain militarily stronger than its adversaries, for that could lead to peace and a reduction of debt. To accomplish this balance of power, it may be necessary to finance both sides of the conflict. Unless one of the combatants is hostile to our interests and, therefore, must be destroyed, neither side should be allowed a decisive victory or defeat. While we must always proclaim the virtues of peace, the unspoken objective is perpetual war

LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct, ergo, all wars are bankers/financiers wars.


rejected's picture

Called military assistance. Basically they get the merchandise,,, we get the bill.

Glass Seagull's picture

Counter-cyclical spending.

Every time we get close to recession, this will happen, especially now that Fed has ability to forecast GDP in near real-time.

Lady Jessica's picture

And by corollary, we should be able to forecast when the USA (and/or its allies) chooses to foment war. 

LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct, and eventually, like every other empire, the moral hazard will be a real motherfucker.

Same as it ever was...

Hedge accordingly, becuase it is possible for a business to survive a world war, multiple times. Once we get serious "deflation" of the human population, real growth will return, it always does.

wizteknet's picture

Becareful what u wish for, paybacks a mofo!

replaceme's picture

Health and defense funds have been the most consistent in my retirement portfolio. I feel dirty taking it, would feel stupid not to.

Dr. Engali's picture

Let's go bomb some freedumb into people's asses! Merika! Fuck yeah!

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) Dr. Engali Jan 6, 2016 10:44 AM

Uncle Sam to 'ally': "Nice little regime you have there, shame if accident to it happen somehow..."

US 'ally': "Your planes we buy now. Easy credit terms again?"

Uncle Sam: "Of course, Jamie and Lloyd old friends, take care of you good..."

Rainman's picture


            ~ Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, 1935

Pliskin's picture

Ahh, War, it giveth and it taketh away!

Dr. Bonzo's picture

Intro of F-35 Bucket-O-Shit marks the US's loss of air superiority to.... basically everyone. And still make a profit. This is the MIC's subprime moment. You'll appreciate the severity of it when some Chinese nitwits in flying soapboxes splash a couple of dozen of our Bucket-O-Shits over the South China Sea.

Consuelo's picture

The 'win' of Lockheed Martin's YF-22 over the easily demonstrated superiorty of the Northrop Grumman YF-23, by way of $$$Congress, marked the end in my book.   The F-35 is simply the bookend.

Element's picture



It doesn't even get to full rate production lots for another two years, which will be about $10 million cheaper than now.

Recent fly-away cost:

F-35A - $91.4 mil 2015  ($82.3 full rate 2017-18)
F-35B - $138.0 mil 2015  ( $124.2 full rate 2017-18)
F-35C - $103.5 mil 2015  ($93.1 full rate 2017-18)
Rafale B – 102.6 million USD 2014
Rafale C – 92.7 million USD 2014
Rafale M – 109.6 million USD 2014
Typhoon Tranche 3A - 131.5 mil USD 2015
F/A-18F Hornet - $62.5 mil USD 2015
F/A-18G Hornet - $71 mil USD 2015
Su-35S - $65 million USD 2015

F-35 cost is in no way out of proportion to its main 4th gen market competitors.

And you better have a look at what the Chinese are actually flying, as they would ... well, kill, borrow, beg and steal to get F-35A/B/Cs instead.


Just the facts ma'me

HowdyDoody's picture

The treasonous Saudis have put out an offer to buy 70+ Rafaeles. The treacherous bastards just won't stay bought.

IronForge's picture

Obviously a Rookie,

I've been on the DoD Side of Weapons Systems Acquisitions Programs in a Supervisory Role decades ago - as the CopyCat Cults ( including the bizarre Negro group in NYC/NJ) Parasites were closing in to corner me off abroad. 

You can't rely on Fly Away Costs - that phrase alone is a misnomer.  R&D, Operational Support and Maintenance tend to be overlooked.

Medium/Dodbuzz' take on the F-35

Bonus 1: Breaking Defense's Article and Charts on the F-35

If the layout is true, it's funny to see the Chair Force as the only Service using a Gatling Gun (guess no one remembers the Phantom in VNM).  I thought the Jarines* wanted to use the F-35 as a Close Air Support Asset - yet it has the lightest payload.  Hope the Jarines' Versions are Carrier Catapult Capable.   IMHO, the Jarines should have built a modified variant of the Navy Version(CATOBAR and STOVL) with larger payload. 

Bonus 2: Wired on F-22

*Jar Head - another nickname for Marine based on Hair Cut Styles (High & Tight, Island).  Full Disclosure - I had one of those and considered becoming a Marine Combat Eng/SIGINT/SAM-Battery/NFO until my Pre-Commissioning Physicals (Poor Eyesight Worsened, so I went into the Navy's Staff Corps and ended Sailing in a War Zone before almost all of my Contemporaries).

Element's picture

Not so.

I'm well aware of the the full F-35 costings in the current and recent years, and the projections.

The point above is to provide a basis for direct comparison between the F-35A/B/C, and other current and directly competing variants. The simplest. easiest to understand, and present, and the quantity most commonly used for such comparisons is fly-away cost levels.

It is valid and it is accepted. What I provided is appropriate and correct, it is accurate as given, as best as I can determine.

But even if one could directly compare the cost of all jet program for all variants of these jets (and I don't believe anyone can), it would be no more meaningful than what I already provided, as the proportions would still remain approximately the same, in relative level terms.

So what would be the point of that?

And note that I was the only one who bothered making an effort to present a factual comparison rather than rhetoric and bullshit assertions, and daft claims with zero facts? Well the thread is now dead, on the forth page, so you're a bit fucking late, don't your think? Trying to sneak your post on the back unseen?

The fact that the F-35 is already significantly cheaper than some of its technologically superseded so-called 'competitors', is in itself confirming (quite strongly) that the F-35 is in no way expensive, or "over priced", as has been repeatedly claimed by so-called 'journalists', but who are actually known partisans, and are at the very sites that you referenced, as being allegedly more accurate superior and better sources!

No, sorry, they aren't. I have already heard their shit and know they are spinning a load of rot. They are in fact well-known anti-F-35 crusading sites, with long histories of deliberate misrepresentation and warped and unreasonable as well as false and ignorant pseudo-'criticisms', of every possible detail of the aircraft and its program.

Propaganda and spin is their product.

I'm only interested in the actual facts of this situation, and voicing those, otherwise the liars and bullshit artists go unchallenged on the basic facts.

So tough luck if you don't like the basic facts, or wish to nominate to consider yourself a more 'aware' or to appeal to an authority that you do not have.

Sorry, the numbers have the authority, if they are the basic facts, as best as can be reasonably determined.

And if you were actually interested in a discussion of the facts you would not have prefixed your comments with an immediate insult to denigrate, rather than just make a forthright sensible argument with suitable and reasonable detail, sans your pet propaganda websites and their promotion.  lol   ;-)

I don't use such sites because they present twisted bullcrap. I can get the facts myself. I'm not lazy like you, and I know how to do analysis of complex topics myself. I trust my own capacities, they're pretty good..

Those numbers are fly-away for those aircraft and as close as I can determine, on relatively short notice for that comment. And that's all I'm interested in presenting, a proportional factual rebuff to the numerous false accusations of the F-35 program being an 'over-priced' source of stress to US and allied mil budgets.

That sort of suggestion has been established to be factually untrue. It is nonsense. And it was the very propaganda attack sites linked by you that produced and promoted that sort of deceitful underhanded nonsense! specifically to harm public debate, not to aid it.

A coincidence? Incompetence on your part? Or is it dishonestly? A wish to deceive? To use glossy propaganda links to distract from the straight forward price comparison presented?

Others can decide as I could care less which it is.  :-)


These are the maxium pylon design allowances (I checked):

F-35A/C Max Weapon Load  21,300 lb (all for weapons)
F-35B Max Weapon Load 18,085 lb (all for weapons)

The US air force's current heavy-hitter strikefighter is the F-15E and its maximum available payload is 26,020 lb, but typically carries 1 x 480, and 2 x 600 US Gal drop tanks and their pylons for a weight of 12,695 lb, leaving just 13,325 lb for weapons on a maximum load fully-fuelled F-15E.

7,975 lb less than the F-35A/C have available for weapons loading
4,760 lb less than the F-35B has available for weapons loading

And the F-35B does have a cannon, it is a mission-ized external one mounted on the center pylon. How can you not know these things, you being a self-professed expert, and me just a "rookie"?

Which means all of the F-35A/B/C models vastly exceed the weapon carrying capacity of the present F-15E, of which there are about 220 aircraft available (from memory), in the entire current US air force fleet.

It also means the USMC have never had an aircraft with so much weapon clout, or anything near that weapon load hitting-power on deck! 

But the USMC are also buying a large number of C models also, in a deck-swap arrangement with the USN.  You apparently didn't know that, either!

And the A and C models have about 180% of the weapon load of an F-15E.

And there will be 2,443 F-35 combined, not a mere approx 220 F-15E.



Sorry to break it to you but it is you who are the ROOKIE, and the IGNORANT one, regarding these aircraft. You could have checked, but we're too lazy, and only have BS to offer, instead.  lol  :D

Don't try that shit with me, I'm not like you, I operate differently to that winging-it bullcrap.



There is a requirement for 2,443 F-35s in the US forces. And that requirement was reconfirmed just a few months ago when people at the sites that you linked claimed it was an out of date number, and needed a review. It was officially reviewed, and was again confirmed late in 2015. That is what they want and The F-35 is in fact the jet they want. The jet needed to meet defined KPIs in testing and have certain features. It does, and it met all KPIs with a greater than 5% buffer.

Transcript: Tom Burbage (Program Director)
"... For any performance-related requirements, we artificially penalize [sic] the engine by five per cent fuel flow and two per cent thrust. Those margins are given back as we mature the design and get more and more solid on exactly what it is going to do. They are there for conservative estimation up front. We have not taken back any of those margins yet so, when those margins are taken back, the airplane will continue to be well in excess of its basic requirement."


So they've impaired the thrust via software, and reduced the avialable fuel available to burn and not removed its weight, for the performance tests. So we know the final aircraft will have higher performance than that which has been given to the public.

And 3,062, combined, are planned to be procured internationally. Yesterday it was signaled by the IDF that they wanted to buy a further 17 F-35B ( the most expensive model). So the number is closer to 3,079 now.

And it is clearly being delivered at a price level that is within acceptable norms of price for a modern strikefighter, and in fact more orders at those levels are very likely.

In 2014 politicians in Finland signaled their intent to forego any further 4th-gen jets, like the Saab JAS Gripen-NG or Super Hornets, and see if they could get the F-35A instead. This is what was said:

Haglund advises against JAS fighter acquisition


22 Apr 2014


"Carl Haglund (SFP), the Minister of Defence, has rejected the proposal by Eero Heinäluoma (SDP), the Speaker of the Parliament, to acquire JAS Gripen fighters from Sweden in a bid to promote Nordic co-operation. “The Finnish Air Force must get the best equipment we can afford,” Haglund states.... ...“Although I advocate co-operation with Sweden, we should not acquire Swedish JAS fighters when we could acquire American F-35 stealth fighters for roughly the same price. Performance must take precedence in the investment,” ..."

Countries want the F-35, because it is the best air to air and air to ground technology ever developed. The USAF are flying about 140 of them, at present (about 170 now exist), and have repeatedly said that the F-35A is vastly superior to anything they've ever had.


Deal with it.

IronForge's picture

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MIC Troll,

Did I strike a nerve?

Didn't I just state that I actually had working experience in the DoD Acquisitions Sector? 

Decades Ago? 

What experience do you have?  Have you even been ON a Weapons Platform?  Tell me.  Impress me, if you can.  "I've looked deeply into this, since I'm a Fanboi" doesn't count.

It's only going to sell because of the MIC and the "perceived sense of security" a NationState may have by buying anything the Americans are flying.   It worked for the F-15 and the F-16 (bec; but I have to still shake my head whenever I see the F-18 sales abroad - that was a MIC Push Job much disdained by the Navy Flyboys and the Grumman Engineers who I worked with.

As for Guns, I'm not too concerned about the External Guns, since it's supposed to FLY ITS MISSIONS RELYING ON ITS STEALTH PROFILE - WITHOUT EXTERNAL ATTACHMENTS - right, 'tard?  Those Gun Pods are "window dressing" to prompt a few people reluctant to buy into the Plane -  that actually defeats the primary feature of the Aircraft. 

IN THE REAL WORLD, the F-35 most likely will have to be initially sent on Sorties with only Internal Bays used until most of the SAM and AAA Batteries are identified, avoided, or torched.  No External Gun Pods will be mounted until then.  What happens if the Hostiles sneak up a couple of Fighters; and it turns into a dogfight?  The "Navy/Marine-Corps Team" (how I love using that phrase here - bonus for Sailors out there - ROTFL) Versions are "Out of Luck" if comes down to close quarters; but we all know that most "modern" adversarial Fighter Aircraft the F-35 would encounter could outmaneuver it and take it down. 

The Phantom all over again. 

The Stealth argument is a bit academic since the F-35's Steath Features can be "compromised" by means published by other parties for years now, so the Plane is going to have some "major" problems dealing with SAMs, AAAs(Close Air Support), and more versatile Fighter Aircraft.

Other Nations "Aren't" tripping over themselves to acquire it.  GBR was due to walk out since they were locked out of making their own Systems Software for awhile; and others (like JPN) have already stated that they're just tagging along (alternative options of using the Eurofighter and building their own Stealth Fighter are getting more popular nowadays).

Last time I checked, People still like the F-15 Strike Eagle (Full Disclosure - it's a Platform my Team of Engineers and Contractors have worked with).  Throw in a few jamming/chaffing/targeting drones, maybe get a few Attack Drones in the Mix, or maybe buying into a Saab or a (cheaper) Russian/Chinese/Indian Fighter just might do the Job - WITHOUT the NSA snooping into one's own MIC and Air Force.

PS.  I don't think they're going to sell as many Planes as they're planning on.  The fact that you're hugging closely to the propaganda, sales pitch, and forecasting sales numbers which were probably made with "sunny, unicorns-were-here-with-me-and-no-one-who-can-afford-the-plane-cared-about-my-competitors-or-their-own-planes-in-the-making" factors reveal you to be a Troll or a Neophyte.

So you have a few Foreign Politicians advocating the F-35.  BFD.  It's 7 Years behind, Tens of Billions Over Budget, and save maybe the AF Version, not so maneuverable compared to Planes they most likely will face.  Many competitors can gear up the Helmet and the Firmware.  When it's "Mission Time" - all that matters is how it flies against hostile assets and sometimes - Stealth/STOVL Features,  and Dogfighting/Bombing Requirements don't mix too well. 

Seven years behind schedule.   This should have remained a fracking X-Plane Program for a few more years. 

You don't read like an Industry pro.  Maybe in Marketing/Sales -even Finance; but probably not in Engineering or Program Mgmt.  If you are, be glad you're not working for me. 



Element's picture



You can claim to be anything you like, but claiming to be a pretty butterfly would be much more convincing to me. You are clearly a thoroughly ignorant or delusional lying idiot who has no clue at all, and not even basic grasp on the facts under discussion, but overflow with mere opinion that is demonstrably patently erroneous ignorant bullshit. Consider your deeply incisive brain-farts to be prejudged and disregarded from here as the content of what you say seems to indicate you're nothing but a fraud, or a troll, or both. You're not even any good at it as I pointed out above.

If I want a genuine expert with real and current knowledge levels in aeronautics and weapon or platform engineering and real programs and systems experience I have several excellent sources I can call on, for clarification of points I know not of. I know where to find them, and I do seek their views on some issues I can't figure out. And when they answer they know their shit. So I know a poser when I encounter one, I can tell the difference immediately, and you  'IronForge', are obviously a poser and moron, with no such expertise, experience, or qualifications, or ever worked in the field. If you did you would never talk as stupidly at that, with no actual understanding evident, but plenty to the contrary.

You even stupidly claimed:

" ... It's 7 Years behind, Tens of Billions Over Budget, and save maybe the AF Version, not so maneuverable compared to Planes they most likely will face.  ..."

Want some facts with that, Sir?

The F-35B is already operational and the Marines love its performance. Distributed open flights of 4 x F-35B are routinely shooting down larger numbers of opposing flights of F-16s and F-15s in mock air attacks, and suffering no losses, while destroying all attackers. The pilots in the F-15s and F-16s can't even find the F-35B to shoot back at it. They describe their (paraphrased), "situational awareness of the F-35s movements or even its presence is non-existent, we end up dead".

So there's none of the A2A lack of lethality or survivability 'issues' that you ignorantly asserted will exist for it. The best of the best 4th-gen USAF fighters have no chance against the USMC's F-35B.

They are doing it. It's not off in the future sometime, it's not ina simulation, like you morons want to pretend - it's now!

The A2A capability the Marines got, according to them, is far more than they were expecting. It's a real killer in the air according to them.

Then just days ago the USN was given unexpected funding for another 11 F-35C to be built soon plus more Growlers. So they've got both of what they've asked for, above those already planned in next production lots.

So procurement of all three versions has been confirmed. There are NO REDUCTIONS IN NUMBERS, in fact the numbers are increasing. And probably going to increase a lot more. And there are no equivocations the whole program remains intact and is getting stronger with much more momentum, and proceeding as they planned.

Here's a publicly released USAF planning chart from late 2007, showing USAF's then schedule of procurements and withdrawals of existing aircraft as the F-35A was constructed, inducted, and entered high-rate production. As you can see, that was planned for about now, and that's what is occurring. And the ones inducted are being flown until squadrons are progressively made operational from August 2016 this year. 

Which is again occurring as planned, within the expected time frame.

So how is it as you merely claim, " years late..."?

That's utter bullshit!

The only thing late that mattered was the Marines IOC date which was put back from the estimated range of (a hoped for) 2012 to 2014 IOC window. Instead it fell 6-months past that window, and ended up in July 2015, instead. So that was at most 2.5 years delayed, if you were unreasonable and expected it to occur during 2012 (which was the optimistic target).

Other than that the program is more or less going ahead, intact, and as planned - and they're doing it at approximately the rate that 2007 chart depicts. That was all planned nine years ago.

They were expecting and planning for what's happening now, and it turned out to be very close to what they'd planned. So nothing surprising there that they were not already planning for, or anticipating.

And as I've pointed out above, they've built about 170 to date and have inducted about 140 into the USAF. Which is about what they expected to have at around this point. So there's no great 'crisis' here, there is no 'kerfuffle', it isn't blowing out the US Mil budget, or Allied budgets, and it isn't even 'over-priced'.


But it is delivering more capability and performance than it was expected to!


And several pilots have said on video lately how impressive the engine power is, that it's far stronger than they had been led to believe, until they flew it. That it was a "huge rush" the first time they felt it, etc.

How can that be? It sort of suggests there may somehow be more power now, for some peculiar reason ... now what would do that?

There is a possible solution. It had an engine fire two years ago, and the fix required that a part deep within the core of all of the existing engines had to be changed. They finished doing that to all of the existing engines last month, btw.

So I have a suspicion (and that's all it is) that they also took the golden opportunity that presented to upgrade the engine cores to a higher thrust level at the same time, with newly-developed core technology, that has since given the engine a surge of extra thrust.

And it must be a significant percentage increase of thrust if experienced pilots can easily notice that it's stronger than what they were used to, for an F-16C/D.

And why wouldn't you upgrade it if you had that opportunity?

You have to pull them all apart in deep maintainence. But this jet's engines TBO has been tested out to 5,260 hours of hot operation. So if you flew it 400 hours per year (a high number) it would still be about another 10 years, until you've pulled the core apart again, and had another chance to uprate the thrust.

But if you already have upgrade parts for it ... after all the engine's development and selection occurred a decade ago ... and new updates already tested and awaiting ... so why not?

Also, it was identified in Jan 2015,that it could do with more energy-recovery after high-alpha (AOA) maneuvers, i.e. it could do with more thrust to get it moving fast again after bleeding off so much speed so fast. So if you're pulling every single engine core apart, then why not upgrade the cores to higher thrust capacity, at the same time, if upgrades were already developed and had completed their testing cycle and was certified for use in an engine rebuild upgrade kit?

So I suspect that's what Pratt and Whitney were given approval to do, during 2015.

Pilots recently converting over to F-35 from F-16s and F-15s are saying how surprised or even 'shocked' they were/are by the engine's power and acceleration being stronger than they were expecting.

And remember this is within the context where P&W, GE and RR all have developed and are testing 6th-gen much more advanced engines. So why not upgrade the 5th gen engine now, while you still have a chance to steel a jump on competitors? P&W may have done the upgrade at minimal cost to secure its reputation and future maintainence work with F-35 engines, etc.

So no performance problem is there curently, as it rips like few had expected it to, according to pilots.

This year (and next) marks the rapid switching to full-rate production levels and much cheaper prices, where about 100 will be added every year. They already exceeded the production rate targets and production allocation numbers last year! So they are making up time, not losing it. So probably about 80 to 85 more in 2016, about a 50% increase in numbers in one year alone.

And over a hundred are likely in 2017. Hitting it highest numbers in about 2019, and stabilizing at well over 100 per year likely to be produced.

Now please go cry in your beer ass-clown.

You are flat out wrong about every 'point' you pretended to make. You don't even possess the capacity to discuss the topic on the facts, let alone informatively.

And tellingly, you instead give yourself license to be an ignorant bullshit artist, via claiming that others who have done their homework are merely towing the advertising, and 'MIC' lines, etc.

What sort of loony claptrap is that? Knowing your subject makes you less knowledgeable of the subject, in your lucid and crystalline view, does it?

hahahaha!!  And that's how you proved beyond any doubt at all that you are a lying idiot.

I discuss the salient facts, observations and implications. The stuff you obviously don't know anything about. I have no need to accept the mere words of an ignorant fucking moron making repeated absurd claims that are not substantiated by even a basic knowledge base, or logical argument, or rather, the lack of one. Which is of course thoroughly inconsistent with your claim and appeal to being an 'authority' on this subject matter.

You are no such thing, not even close.


TOPIC : "U.S. Spending On Military Aircraft Surges Most Since September 11"


And that topic has been addressed in this, and even earlier posts as to what is occurring.

And it's related to strategic guidance changes due to recent developments, and not due to costs of new major systems or programs, but to a change in priority on numbers and qualities, to address high-end warfare once more, against a large power - or powers.

So I established that the cost of the F-35A/B/C are not unusual, or out of proportion to other contemporary platforms, of much lower capabilities, and is not an inducer of stresses on the US or allied mil budgets, beyond expected and already planned for levels of funding.


That's the topic and it has been adequately addressed.   O N - T O P I C!


You pretended to discount the topic with your baloney, and then moved on to other pet distractions, as you promoted the views of known anti-F-35 propaganda websites and displayed your ignorance and lack of basic knowledge in a range of areas.

So you're either a lying idiot, or just an ignorant idiot.

You choose one, I don't actually care too much which it is.  lol  :D

I'm not buying a word you say, it's blatantly obvious you're a phony.


Kids these days!  They try all sorts of dumb shit on!  :D

IronForge's picture

I don't lie, Element.

Since you haven't mentioned ANYTHING regarding your experience regarding the MIC and the DoD - this is where you QUALIFY AS AN AMATEUR.

Trying to shove PROJECTED(read, wishful) Costs Per Unit BEFORE any major p urchases - Qualify you as an Amateur.

You're a bit verbose - it may work on the "Blogosphere"; but not it's not Rational.  A Stratfor dweeb?  Possibly.  You regurgitate other's quote and opinions on the matter often on this subject matter; and losing every point you're tying to make.

You "Might" be a ZH Staffer - based on your quick postings of previous Discussion Threads; but regardless of your "line of work" - obviously not with the Core MIC/DOD Roles - your estimates/interpretations on the F-35, its Purpose, its realistic applications - are simply based on naivete, MIC Propaganda, and your disdain what the MIC/Bankers want the public to disdain.

Weak, Element, very weak.  You're grade school fascination with the F-35 probably isn't good enough to convince the well read and Industry Pros.

Not in this Age.  Leave the MIC/DoD Analysis to the Industry Pros and the Vets who worked with them.  Like I said before, I've been in a peculiar situation of being involved in the Weapons Systems Acquisitions Process as a Military Officer.

Considering you've tried to disparage my Integrity and Honesty, you must be an ASS. 

Max Steel's picture

.................... AFAIK the US system of accounting for the aircraft & some of its components separately is unique. Every European country includes any such parts & equipment in the unit cost. European contract prices for internal purchases also include tax.

This leads to many problems with comparisons, generally tending to make US products look cheap. Comparing purchase contracts is also problematic, because it's rare that we know exactly what is included in the contract & what each element costs.

 F-35 cost you quoted is without engine so get oyur facts straight again.

Low Rate Initial Production lot  (not including the engine) are:


  • F-35A: $98 million
  • F-35B: $104 million
  • F-35C: $116 million

And F.16net wannabe bot info(not media articles) showing F-35 limitations are not propaganda or twisted crap,they are simple facts which fanboys like you can't digest. Oh! and F-35 isn't the first SVOTL aircraft.
quoting Rafale prices in Dollars is hardly of any use as importer will be buying it in euros not dollars.

Element's picture



Completely wrong on every point halfwit!  Don't even try to sound intelligent as you shit talk, you clearly know nothing about this you moron!  haha  :D

Fly-Away no engine then Fly-Away with engine from 2015 production Lot:

            |  No F135 USD  |  With F135 USD
F-35A  |  $77,700,000     |  $91,450,000
F-35B  |  $105,500,000   |  $137,990,000
F-35C  |  $89,700,000     |  $103,450,000


Deal with it.

Max Steel's picture

The fact is that the joint strike fighter f-35 to beat anything that flies , sans the F-22 . It has ended up struggling. 


You can't deal with the official figures niw ? If you add the develooment cost , engines, simulator etc.... the price of an f-35 you are far away of the 90+ million$ for and F-35A.

Element's picture

I assure you, I know much more about F-35 pricing than you, by a very wide margin, you have precisely nothing you can teach me about it.


Despite you laboring under some pretty dodgy misconceptions, the F-22A's raison-detre is to ensure that the F-35A can do its ROLE.

The F-22As ROLE until now was to make sure the F-16s could do their assigned primary ROLE.

That is also the raison-detre of the Growler, the E-3, tanker, satellites, RQ4s ...

I could go on but you don't seem to grasp that the F-35A/B/C will tear apart any opponent's military much faster, and in far greater numbers, with many more PGM weapons, and with far more standoff, unable to be jammed and without the possibility of X-band engagement than ever before.

And all of those technologies are proven, they all work, they all work together too, and even taking out the satellites, or the E3s, they will still continue to work. it was designed that way.

You also don't seem to understand that the USAF has a structure of ROLES, where the F-22A is given the ROLE of top cover, and in many cases the F-35A and C will also both perform that ROLE.

But you confuse that to mean that the F-35A can't also do that role, as it can, and in other forces they have different structures and assignments of role.

It is also the case that the F-35A/B and C are all currently reportedly winning multiple mock air to air battles against multiple types in large numbers, without even being detected. There's no other aircraft operating anywhere that will match the F-35 like that in air to air ROLE, that's not the F-22A.

Good luck to any air force going up against the F-35A in air dominance ROLE. I hope their combat search and rescue services are well-funded and very well equipped, with really dedicated heroic people.

That much is clear.

I can well understand why this is troubling for Russians, I wouldn't like it, but don't you think it's about time people like you faced up to it more realistically?

The reality is the Western world was the first great global power center and it is not going to be getting shoved aside by any one, and there is not limit to making sure that is so. Russians need to come to terms with that in the same way China will be force to accept the West is an immovable Geopolitical reality, for them as well, as we are far less likely to ever be giving way to them, the 4th rising great power, than to Russia, the third. Global military dominance is in the West's blood and it's not stepping aside for anyone. Anyone attempting to shove it aside will be totally wrecked.

If you were in the West's place, and had the West's long proud centuries of global control and dominance, warfare, technology, position and wealth, would you even consider, for the merest instant stepping aside?

No, you would not.

And that is something the west will never do, and will never let happen.

Five centuries from now the West will still insist on being the best, the dominant, the most capable, the leader. And anyone who wants to displace it will have to be better, seriously better. We are never letting any one have it because they think it's their 'turn', or something like that.


Get your Russian heads around that, and you will much better understand the West, its motivation, and why it insists on doing what it does, the way it does, and why it will not stop being that.

Element's picture



The "no-engine" figures are from an April 2014 Congressional Research Service report that came to light in March 2015

The "with engine" figures are with the reported costs of a 2015 P&W engine fitted in the respective aircraft.

            |  No F135 USD  |  With F135 USD
F-35A  |  $77,700,000     |  $91,450,000
F-35B  |  $105,500,000   |  $137,990,000
F-35C  |  $89,700,000     |  $103,450,000

The respective engine costs are listed here:

F-35A F135-PW-100: $13.75 million (in FY 2015)
F-35B F135-PW-600: $32.49 million (in FY 2015)
F-35C F135-PW-400: $13.75 million (in FY 2015)

The LM fast facts is page is clearly wrong because of this:

"... F-35B: $104 million ..."

Well that can't possibly be correct because if you subtract the cost of the B engine from the alleged reported LM price for the B, you then get $71.51 mil USD, for the B, with no engine!

Which is obviously badly wrong!  So why is it wrong?

The B is by far the most expensive version to build, so the LM figure of $104 mil is clearly totally wrong for the B.

But if instead you add the engine price what you then get is $136.49 mil USD ... which is just $1.5 million cheaper than the 2014 Congress report figure that I already gave you, for the B model's fly-away price.

Get it now? That LM website B price has no engine included.

The LM number you gave for the B, is therefore the without-engine price they are giving, but the figures for the A and C are more expensive in 2015 too. So it's all wrong, for some reason.

The LM figures on their webpage are clearly inconsistent and unreliable.

But why?

The following is the Fast Facts PDF Document, released in Oct 2015 (the most recent one now available), gives a lot more detail. 

The LRIP 8 contract reflects an average air frame unit cost approximately 3.5 percent lower than the LRIP 7 contract signed in 2013 and a 57 percent reduction since LRIP 1. 


• LRIP 6 Aircraft Costs (not including engine):
o 23 F-35As CTOL - $103 million/jet
o 6 F-35B STOVL - $109 million/jet
o 7 F-35C CV - $120 million/jet 


• LRIP 7 Aircraft Costs (not including engine):
o 24 F-35As CTOL - $98 million/jet
o 7 F-35B STOVL - $104 million/jet  [this is where it came from]
o 4 F-35C CV - $116 million/jet 


• LRIP 8 Aircraft Costs (not including engine):
o 19 F-35As CTOL-$94.8 million/jet
o 6 F-35B STOVL - $102.0 million/jet
o 4 F-35C CV - $115.7 million/jet

So from that you can see the numbers at the LM site are from an earlier batch (LRIP-7 and at a lower rate than in Lot 8), and yet the actual number of jets built during LRIP-8 was in fact much higher than is stated in that "Fast facts" document.

The result is that the true cost is much lower even that reported, because much more aircraft were produced - but for the same budgeted money in that Lot.

There were seven more F-35 in LRIP-8 production than the document states!

What I don't know is what the true cost is, but will be able to work backwards to get it.

But LRIP-9 started in November 2015, which complicates the price determination and distorts it even more.

There is no current data available for Lot-9 except the official USAF 2015-16 budget doc request papers, stating the money involved and the production target in that Lot.

But that will now be massively distorted from the stated target because the ramp to full production has already begun in LRIP-8. That's why there was seven more jets, and why the price is inaccurate until the other jets are taken into account (but we don't what types the seven were). So the price is still showing higher than it actually is. And that's why they produced more jets than was expected in LRIP Lot 8, specifically to bring down the costs.

We just don't know yet how much the average prices dropped.

So Lot 9 will also be much bigger than the budget doc says (and thus again, cheaper than it says). And we won't find out for another year how many they made in Lot-9. But it will probably be about 75 jets (some suggest higher).

As a result you can't use the budget doc's numbers until you see how many they actually do build. So that's no help.

Which means the best data we have is from comparatively much lower rate (and higher cost) Lot-7.

Ah! But Lot-7 is where the April 2014 Congressional Research Service report with the no-engine weight prices came from.  

And it is very likely that it's accurate, or the best available in April 2014, Lot-7.

And that's why I use it (for now) as those numbers from Lot-7 mark a fly-away price point, as it's the only solid data point available right now.

So that is the best public fly-away price data you can currently get on the F-35A/B/C.

Ans that's what I provided at the start.

And the price will fall smartly from here, in fact the USAF budget papers project that a F-35A "fly away" cost (their term! not mine btw!) of  $91.426 USD in 2020 (a stable full production figure not distorted anymore by the ramp up)

Get it now?!


Look again at the price that I gave, from Lot-7 and it comes to ... $91,450,000 ... for an F-35A, with an engine (fly-away price).

Which is almost the same as the budget papers price stabilized 2020 projection, for a fly-away cost for that same jet of $91.426 million!

It's the bloody same! It means that April 2014 Congress report was reporting the USAF's modeling projections out to 2020, when the stable full rate price was arrived at!

They just used the hidden LM data modeling for the production costs, and that is the same model still used in the budget papers, right now.

And that is why they converged on the same cost numbers in FRP 2020.

So I'm satisfied that the numbers I already gave within this tread, at the very beginning, are in fact fully representative of the expected effective fly-away cost of these jets.

And certainly the numbers I gave at the beginning are the most 'solid' price data available on the fly-away prices of the jets (and clearly older and more expensive than the current production Lot-9).

So you didn't refute the figures that I gave. All you did was have me demonstrate their validity of the numbers I gave, and why.  And showed where those numbers you gave were actually clearly unreliable and wildly incorrect for the B model. 

These following are in fact the most valid fly-away figures that can be determined at present:

            |  No F135 USD  |  With F135 USD
F-35 |  $77,700,000     |  $91,450,000
F-35 |  $105,500,000   |  $137,990,000
F-35 |  $89,700,000     |  $103,450,000


And they will be inaccurate to some unknowable degree. But they won't be far wrong, and they're certainly more accurate than what's displayed on the outdated LM page text that you've linked.


Sorry to do that too you again ... no, not really.   doh!   :D 


See also:

2019 (planned)
(target price incl. engine)

"Just the facts, ma'me"

Element's picture

The numbers from: LRIP LOT-8 2015



F-35 JSF on track for deliveries

07 Jan 2016

The US Department of Defense (DOD) accepted its 45th F-35 Lightning II aircraft delivery for 2015, meeting the program production goal for the year. With this delivery, Lockheed Martin has delivered 154 operational aircraft to the DOD and partner nations since program inception.

“Meeting aircraft production goals is a critical stepping stone in demonstrating the program is ready for the expected significant production ramp up,F-35 Program Executive Officer Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan said.

“It took thousands of people around the world to achieve this milestone and they should all be proud of what they accomplished.”

The 45 F-35 deliveries include:

    26 F-35A - US Air Force
    2 F-35A - Royal Norwegian Air Force (first two)
    1 F-35A - Aeronautica Militare (first Italian Air Force)
    8 F-35B - US Marine Corps
    8 F-35C - US Navy/US Marine Corps

The 45 F-35 Lightning II aircraft are assigned to the following installations:

    17 - Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, Arizona – including all international jets
    8 - Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina
    8 - Eglin Air Force Base, Valparaiso, Florida
    5 - Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah
    7 - Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada

Of the 45 aircraft delivered, 44 were from the Fort Worth facility in Texas and one was from the Cameri facility in Italy. The 2015 total represents a 25 per cent increase in production on the previous year.

“Delivering the most F-35s in program history is a clear demonstration of our growing maturity and stability,” Lockheed Martin F-35 Program General Manager Lorraine Martin said.

“Congratulations to the entire government and industry team for their work to deliver 45 aircraft.”

The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the US Air Force, the F/A-18 for the US Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the US Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries.



Note that the production number exceeds the previously planned LRIP LOT-8 number by 16 aircraft.

• LRIP 8
19 F-35As CTOL-$94.8 mil/jet
  6 F-35B STOVL - $102.0 mil/jet
  4 F-35C CV - $115.7 mil/jet

So 29 aircraft were planned and 45 delivered, or a ~55% increase from the published planned acquisition numbers.

Clearly the ramp toward full-rate production began in early 2015, or about 1 year earlier than previously expected.

They'are making up time now - not losing it any more.

And those extra 16 airframes alone equal about two year's LRIP production in some earlier lots.


rejected's picture

Well I guess if your forcing protection money from your constituents and can print up what you can't steal,  you can afford stupid shit like airplanes that can't fly in foul weather and boats that look Civil War era have to be towed back to shore.

BrokusDickusMaximus's picture

I have friends in the MIC and all are doing great. Business is booming. Like it or not War sells stuff. Banksters wars are the last profit making business now.

rejected's picture

That's nice,,, real nice. We'll be thinking of them when the flashes of bright lights start appearing in the skies.

Consuelo's picture



And 'Democracy'...!!


Fuck me.




Dexter Morgan's picture

More gov jobs and cash for gov contractors.  Mission Accomplished.