Posted November 21, 2018 07:11:58The F-35 is still the most expensive fighter in the Air Corps inventory.
But its successor, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, has taken the crown.
The Air Force’s Super Hornets are expected to cost about $100 billion over the next five years, with an initial production run of only a few hundred aircraft.
However, that figure is likely to be closer to $400 billion.
In addition, the Air Forces is expected to order a total of 3,000 Super Hornets to replace the F35s.
The cost of the aircraft itself has already risen dramatically in the last few years, as the Navy and the Marine Corps have bought more of the jets than they can fit into their fleets.
The Army is on pace to buy 10,000 new F-16s to replace its existing fleet.
The Super Hornecks, which are built in Florida and flown to the Pentagon from the United Kingdom, are still considered a bit of a flop.
A 2010 Air Force report estimated that the F12A/B Thunderjet had a 90 percent failure rate and the F14A/C Eagle had a 95 percent failure rating.
The F-18C, the next-generation stealth fighter, has a 98 percent failure-rate, according to a 2014 report.
The F/S Hornet is designed to replace legacy fighter jets in the air, but the F21 Raptor is also being considered as a replacement for the F16s and F/M fighters.
It is more expensive than the F22, but it is expected be much more agile, with stealth technology and sensors, and can carry more weapons than the current F-117A/D.
The Raptor also has the potential to fly more missions and perform a wider variety of missions.
The Super Horners are expected at about the same price tag, but with more missions, and an even greater amount of capabilities.