The U.S. Air Force, Army, and Department of the Navy (that is, the Navy and Marine Corps) operate large fleets of aircraft. CBO produced three reports about those fleets, projecting the number and costs of aircraft the Department of Defense (DoD) would need to procure to maintain the fleets’ current size through 2050.
In CBO’s projections, DoD’s costs for procuring aircraft increase steadily through the mid-2030s and peak at $44 billion in 2038 (in 2018 dollars). DoD’s costs would exceed the 2000–2018 average ($26 billion) every year between 2021 and 2047, CBO estimates. The largest costs would be for the Air Force’s F-35A and its planned Penetrating Counter Air aircraft.