US Aircraft Costs: A 2006 Review
Defense Aerospace recently published a list of costs for US aircraft and helicopters, extrapolated from the Pentagon’s latest Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) tabled on August 10, 2006. A couple of important notes are in order to readers reviewing the figures, which will be different than the published acquisition costs per unit:
(1) All estimates include anticipated inflation allowances. Weapons programs are typically baselined at a specified year to help remove inflation as a comparison factor between weapons. On the other hand, budgeted figures over a program’s life are affected by inflation. Which figure is best depends on what you’re trying to measure.
(2) The list’s price figures are calculated by dividing the total program cost by the number of units, which amortizes R&D costs and some support costs. That’s why the list’s calculations put the C-17 at $330.8 million, for instance, even though recent contracts indicate that Australia paid $195 million per plane for its C-17s.