On the one hand, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is the arguably the most lethal and versatile aircraft of the modern era. Three unique variants have been produced so that the aircraft can fit the needs of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and United States Marine Corps.
It is an agile aircraft that has radar-jamming abilities, supersonic speed and stealth capabilities. It has been widely adopted by American allies and partners and could remain in service well into the 2070s.
On the other hand it is the most expensive military platform to date and by the end of the program could cost $1.5 trillion dollars. To put that in perspective, as of August 31, the federal debt held by the public was $20.83 trillion.
From another perspective, that $1.5 trillion figure would be for the life of the aircraft, which is expected to be from now until the 2070s and could account for 3,000 or more aircraft.