Procurement: March 2, 2003


The integration of six U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadrons into carrier air wings, and the decommissioning of five navy and marine fighter wings, has sharply reduced the number of F-35 and F-18 aircraft that will be bought in the next few years. There will be 408 fewer F-35s and 88 fewer F-18s purchased. Although that's a big cut to the planned F-35 purchases (originally 2,852 for the air force, navy and marines), a lot more foreign nations are buying the F-35. But most of the foreign sales are for the cheaper ($37 million each) air force version. The navy and marine versions cost ten million dollars more each. With fewer of these versions being purchased, unit price will probably go up another five millions dollars or more. 


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