The program has had well-publicized cost overruns and delays. But one of the advantages is that we now have some useful reference points. We've recommended that parliamentarians at least consider that figures coming out of the selected acquisition report, plus reports from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, begin to illuminate the subject—providing estimates on both acquisition costs and O and S, long-term sustainment--in effect, life cycle costs.
There are now good reference points. A year ago when we did our report, there was not an independent estimate that you could pull out for the F-35A or for sustainment, of which operating support is the largest component. A year later now, you're seeing these numbers on a selected acquisition report and through the U.S. Department of Defense's CAPE unit. You're seeing average procurement unit cost numbers that are also important, because this is the basis of budgeting in the United States and appropriations, not recurring fly-away.
You'll see in the selective acquisition report that the same figures used here will be part of the defence department's submission for the budget process.