Monday, 18 October 2010

Typhoon costs

Thanks to the excellent ThinkDefence, here is a parliamentary answer to the costs of running our fixed-wing military fleet. It shows the four main aircraft types, along with how much it costs to run them per hour. It can be found near the bottom of this parliamentary answer.

The table is reproduced below:
Aircraft Cost, financial year 2010-11 (£/hour)
Tornado GR4 35,000
Typhoon FGR4 (previously known as F2) 70,000
Harrier GR7/GR9 37,000
Tornado F3 43,000

These figures include forward and depth servicing, fuel costs, crew costs, training costs, cost of capital charge, depreciation and amortisation. The Typhoon cost per flying hour reflects the build up of the fleet with smaller numbers of aircraft currently in service; this cost is expected to reduce significantly over the in-service life of the aircraft.

I have been looking for figures like these for some time. As expected, the figures are very large. The Typhoon's cost is well over double that of the Tornado GR4, but then the Typhoon is still early in its life - running costs tend to reduce as service length increases, only increasing again when the machine nears it end-of-life. However, I doubt the hourly cost will be halved. The Typhoon is an eye-wateringly capable aircraft, but it comes at an eye-wateringly high price to run.

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