Ottawa

How much is that fighter jet in the window?

Murray Brewster finds a new estimate for the F-35s.

An estimate by a Pentagon cost-analysis unit projects it will cost $915 billion to keep the U.S. fleet of 2,443 jets flying for 30 years. The document, leaked to Bloomberg in Washington, forecasts a lifetime maintenance bill of roughly $375 million per aircraft.

Alan Williams, a former senior Canadian defence official, says the costs would be comparable for the 65 planes the Conservative government intends to purchase, starting in 2017. Using the Pentagon numbers, the 65 planes would cost more than $24 billion to maintain over 30 years, well above Canadian government estimates.