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By the numbers: The most expensive fighter jet in existence

Posting in Design

How much do some of the U.S. military's programs truly cost?

Propublica has created an infographic which documents the numbers behind the most expensive fighter jet currently in existence, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The original design was intended to make the jet suitable for multi-purpose use; from night flights to tank destruction, but technical problems have continually hampered the project -- and leeched additional funds from the budget.

See also: Robot hornets become British Army's latest weapon

Billions over budget and years behind schedule, you would think that the Pentagon would consider canning the jet, but it hangs on. So far, the F-35 program has cost an eye-watering $84 billion, which is twice what the U.S. Defense Department is required to cut from the 2013 fiscal budget of $549 billion.

It is also important to note, as PopSci reports, that 2,000 people are currently working on the F-35 -- and may be for some time to come unless technical and supply demands are solved. But is this really the right time to spend so much on a project fraught with failure, as the economy continues to struggle?

So, where does all that money go? Check out the infographic below:

Via: PopSci

Image credit: Propublica

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— By on March 19, 2013, 10:49 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure