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Is the F-35 worth $1 trillion over the lifetime of the fleet?

Via Wall Street Journa:

A new Pentagon forecast showing the total cost of owning and operating a fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters topping $1 trillion over more than 50 years has caused a case of sticker shock in Washington.

And that price tag doesn’t even include the $385 billion the Defense Department will spend to purchase 2,500 of the stealthy planes through 2035.

During a Senate hearing this month, Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) called the $1 trillion figure “jaw-dropping,” particularly when compared with the costs of operating other aircraft. . .

The numbers don't seem to make sense to me. Technology is advancing so rapidly, I find it hard to believe we'll still be using F-35s in 2035. And do we need 2500 of these planes when stealth drones can be used instead? - Greg Pollowitz

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