The largest procurement program in the Department of Defense (DOD), the F-35 Lightning II is a strike fighter aircraft being procured in different versions for the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. Current DOD plans call for acquiring a total of 2,456 F-35s. Allies are expected to purchase hundreds of additional F-35s, and eight nations are cost-sharing partners in the program with the United States. The F-35 promises significant advances in military capability.
Like many high-technology programs before it, reaching that capability has put the program above its original budget and behind the planned schedule. The Administration’s proposed FY2021 defense budget requested about $11.4 billion in procurement funding for the F-35 program. This would fund the procurement of 48 F-35As for the Air Force, 10 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps, 20 F-35Cs for the Navy and Marines, advance procurement for future aircraft, and continuing modifications. The proposed budget also requested about $1.7 billion for F-35 research and development.
FY2020 defense authorization act: The FY2020 defense authorization bill funded F-35 procurement at $10.9 billion for 90 aircraft (60 F-35As, 10 F-35Bs, and 20 F-35Cs, an increase of 11 aircraft and decrease of $0.5 billion from the Administration’s request), including $1.4 billion in advance procurement, the requested level. Purchase this volume