Fun facts about the F-35 fighter

Here are some raw numbers about the costliest military program in U.S. history: the F-35 jet fighter. Three different versions of the plane are being developed, and a total of 2,457 copies are to be manufactured by 2035.


Number of lines of software code in the F/A-18 jet fighter

24 million

Number of lines of software code in the F-35


Growth in critical software code since 2005

$15 billion

How much the F-35’s estimated costs have increased over the past twenty months alone

$119 billion

How much the F-35’s estimated costs have increased over the past five years

$345 billion

The total Pentagon budget in 2002

$400 billion

The estimated cost of buying the F-35’s

$1 trillion

The projected cost to operate the F-35s over their projected flight times of 8,000 hours each

$15.8 million

The amount paid by Lockheed Martin on March 23 to settle a Justice Department claim that it “recklessly” secured Pentagon payments for inflated charges by a subcontractor on the F-35 program and another jet fighter program

$80 million

Cost of helmet now being produced as a backup to the problem plagued main F-35 helmet

$373 million

Retrofit costs incurred by the government so far to repair newly-produced F-35 planes


Delay so far in starting full-rate production

11 years

How long the program has been under way


"Mission system requirements” fulfilled so far


Planned flight test points completed so far


Planned airplanes actually delivered last year


Problems in Marine Corps version of the F-35 that were fixed when Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted its “probation” this year


2011 aircraft performance goals that were achieved


Increase in estimated cost of F-35 engines since 2001


Reduction since 2002 in the number of planes expected to be completed by 2017


Growth in estimated average acquisition cost of each plane since 2001

General Accountability Office, “Joint Strike Fighter,” March 20, 2012; Department of Defense, “Selected Acquisition Report, F-35,” Dec. 31, 2010.