Procurement: Sticker Shock for the Air Force

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April 23, 2007: Combat aircraft are getting more expensive, mainly because of all the new technology you can install. Thus the upgraded UH-60 Blackhawk costs $19.3 million each. This is more than the AH-64D Apache gunship ($14.1 million). Transport aircraft, in general, are getting a lot more expensive. The C-17 now costs $329 million each, and the latest version of the C-130 (C-130J) costs $98.5 million each. The new V-22 tilt-rotor transports cost $119.3 million each. A latest naval version of the Blackhawk, the MH-60R, costs $46.1 million each.

But combat aircraft are still the most expensive. The F-22 costs $355 million each. The low budget F-18E cots $94 million each, while the electronic warfare version (the F-18G) goes for $105 million. The F-35 costs $122 million. Even unmanned aircraft are pricy, with the Global Hawk costing $182 million each. Older fighters, like the F-16, cost $60 million, and an F-15E goes for about $100 million.

War is hell, especially once you get the bill.

 


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