An update on costs. Earlier in this thread I commented on the F-35 which was hoped to be a low cost, all purpose fighter for the USA and it's friends. I have come across updated cost info that gives new costs based on expected buys. The cost includes the aircraft, pro rata R&D, and initial spares. Because of the high R&D component, the cost will rise rapidly if numbers are further reduced.
The F-35, A or B version $161 (mil)
KC-130J tanker $101
CH-53K Heavy Helicopter $133
MV-22B Osprey $117
UH-1Y (way updated 60s Huey) $36
AH-1Z (a way updated Cobra) $36
Except for the Osprey these planes have been in production, with earlier models, for years.
The Marines are in the process of replacing the SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) with the IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle). The total buy will be about 3000 units. In 2008 H&K was awarded the production contract for $23.4 mil, which is less than the cost for a single unit of the Marines cheapest helicopter. The debate is still going on if the IAR was a smart buy. (No R&D here, as H&K had it on the shelf)
post edited by tmiles - 2014/01/25 14:09:52