On April 21, 2014, Lockheed announced a development cost increase of an
additional US$7.4 billion. That brings the latest total estimated
development cost of the F-35 to US$397.4 billion. That is US$174.4
billion over the original cost. Total lifetime program cost for the
airplane is estimated at about US$860 billion. However, this can very
well increase before the airplane is pronounced fully able to fly
combat missions. The overall cost for the estimate
life of all U.S. F-35 aircraft should be around US$1.5 trillion.
Anticipated costs to fly the F-35, based on experience with the only stealthy
fighter currently flown by the U.S.A.F., are about US$77,000 per hour. The costs may even be higher, given the complexity of the model B, with a lift fan, plus additional parts to give it short take-off and landing capabilities, and
the exposure to salt water and harsh elements on U.S. Navy ships.