The United States military spent $500m to purchase the new F-35 stealth fighter jet and its associated F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, according to a Pentagon report.
The aircraft, known as the Joint Strike Fighter, has been a top priority for the Pentagon since it was introduced in 2010.
The F-22 Raptor was not included in the study but was included in a similar study last year that examined the costs and benefits of purchasing the F-15 and F-14 strike fighters.
The F-21A Raptor, which was not purchased by the Pentagon, is also an important component of the Joint Staff’s future combat aircraft, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.
A spokesman for the Air Force told Reuters the F35s “are in a very high-priority program” and would be available for use in 2020.
“This program is a very significant capability that will significantly enhance our ability to support our allies, allies, and coalition partners,” Air Force Colonel Steve Warren told Reuters in an email.
Warren said the AirForce did not disclose the exact cost of the F 35s purchase but said the program was costing more than $3bn.
The Air Force previously estimated the total cost of buying the F 22s would be about $2.6bn.
The F35 is a fast, stealthy fighter jet with two engines that propel the aircraft vertically and horizontally.
It has a range of about 1,400km (932 miles) and is designed to be stealthy enough to evade radar detection.
The jet is designed for combat missions that include bombing, strafing, and strafing runs, but the aircraft can also carry air-to-air missiles.
The jet is expected to be a key component of future US airpower, which will need to be able to take out enemy aircraft from afar, especially when its radar signature is reduced to below the radar line of the target.
The Joint Staff is also reviewing the F 16, a jet that is designed and developed for the US Air Force.
The Pentagon said the F16 would be “a highly integrated system that will integrate the capabilities of multiple F-18 and F/A-18 fighter squadrons, as well as provide support for ground-based F-20s and F35A/Bs.”
The F16 will also be part of the Air National Guard’s air strike force, which includes the F/1-2 Viper, the F22 Raptors, and the F12 Tomcats, Warren said in a statement.
Last month, the Pentagon released a plan for how to increase its military spending, saying it was seeking to reach $600 billion in 2021, with an additional $400bn in 2021 and $400 billion in 2023.