The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates the Navy and Marine Corps will spend $280 billion over the next 30 years to replace its 4,000 aircraft. In this September 2018 photo, U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, flies over Afghanistan. Photo by Corey Hook/U.S. Air Force
Jan. 7 (UPI) -- It will cost $11 billion per year to maintain the aviation fleet of the Navy and Marine Corps at it current size over the next 30 years, according to an estimate by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.
The report estimates what it would cost to keep the Navy and Marines' fleet at its current size of 4,000 between 2020 and 2050.
The office's projections are based on procurement schedules and costs extrapolated from Department of Defense documents, the report said, as well as the retirement ages and costs fo the aircraft being replaced.
Costs would range from from $7 billion to $17 billion and total $280 billion, the report said.
Those costs would vary year to year as specific aircraft programs are phased out and added, the report said.
For example, CBO predicts a temporary drop after 2030 as several large programs wind down or end, and rebound in the mid-2030s as the Pentagon begins a new production cycle to replace them.
The MV-22B tiltrotor, the CH-53K helicopter and the F-35B/C fighters are all schedule to sunset in the 2030s.
These programs represent a small number of the 60 models of aircraft the two branches operate, but are notable cost drivers due in part to their technological capabilities.
Replacement costs for attack aircraft would represent the largest fraction of overall costs during the next 30 years, the CBO estimated, totaling about $190 billion -- or half the total for all aircraft.