Pentagon says low demand for F-35 jets will raise costs

Head of F-35 fighter jet program says cost to produce F-35 jets will rise if Canada or any other country stops purchasing fighter jets

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flying over Edwards Air Force Base

Updated Oct 22, 2015

A decision by Canada or any other country to skip orders of 65 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets would add about $1 million to the cost of each plane purchased by the U.S. military or other partners, the head of the F-35 program said on Wednesday.

Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan told lawmakers he was speaking in general terms since it would be inappropriate to comment on the impact of the election of Justin Trudeau as Canada's prime minister. Trudeau had said that if elected his government would not proceed with the program.

Bogdan said withdrawal from the program by Canada, one of the nine countries that helped fund the plane's development, would also raise the cost of a follow-on development program for the other partners, since Canada was currently slated to cover about 2 percent of that cost.

Canada had initially planned to buy 65 jets to replace its aging CF-18s, which were built by Boeing Co.