Those who base judgements on procuement costs alone with no reference to operating costs are likely to mislead themselves.
Unfortunately it is far more difficult to find accurate published lifecycle costs for military equipment than it is to find procurement costs.
The unit procurement cost is £129 Million per aircraft.
The cost per flying hour of a Royal Air Force Typhoon in 2010 is £70,000,including all capital costs (this may decline in future,in 2009 it was £90,000 per flying hour).
Each of these aircraft has an expected airframe life of 6,000 flying hours.
Assuming each aircraft flies for 240 hours a year,each aircraft will have a service life of 25 years.
This suggests the lifecycle cost of a single Typhoon is £420 Million and the lifecycle cost of the 160 strong Typhoon fleet is £67,200 Million.
This suggests an annualised lifecycle cost of £2,688 Million a year for the Typhoon fleet and £16.8 Million a year for an individual Typhoon.
Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft
Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (F.S.T.A.) is expected to cost £11,917 Million over it's lifetime.
This equates to an annualised lifecycle cost of £627 Million for each of the 19 years (2016-2035) of full operating capability.
As only 9 (5 others will be available if needed) aircraft will be in Royal Air Force service at any one time,this equates to an annualised lifecycle cost of about £70 Million for each aircraft in service and a total lifecycle cost per aircraft of £1,324 Million.
Future Rapid Effects System
To quote from National Defence Industries (link now dead):
“The programme is broadly split into 3 main groups of vehicles:a protected mobility platform (Group 1), a reconnaissance platform (Group 2) and a direct fire platform (Group 3).
It is the largest ever Army programme with an acquisition value of around £16 billion, and through life costs of £60 billion.”
The Future Rapid Effects System (F.R.E.S.) family of vehicles was expected to replace over 3,000 armoured vehicles has an expected procurement cost of £16,000 Million and an expected lifecycle cost of £60,000 Million over a lifecycle of 40 years.
The unit procurement cost will be £5.3 Million and the total lifecycle cost per unit will be £20 Million.
That gives an annualised lifecycle cost of £1,500 Million a year for the entire vehicle fleet or about £500,000 per vehicle per year.
Note: F.R.E.S has since been split into a number of smaller projects such as F.R.E.S Support Vehicle.
Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier
Their annual operating cost has been quoted as £44 Million per ship.
Over the expected 50 year service life of the two aircraft carriers,this gives us a lifecycle cost of £10,300 Million and an annualised lifecycle cost of £206 Million or £103 Million per ship per year.
The replacement of the strategic nuclear deterrent is expected to cost £15,000 Million - £20,000 Million.
At the upper estimate this gives a unit procurement cost of £5,000 Million.
Operating costs for the next generation nuclear deterrent submarines are not known but the current Vanguard class Trident boats cost £280 Million a year to operate and it is reasonable to suggests the new boats will cost a similar amount.
Over the expected 30 service life of these submarines these figures give a total lifecycle cost of £28,400 Million,using the higher estimate for procurement cost.
This gives a a lifecycle cost per submarine of £7,100 Million.
This gives an annualised lifecycle cost of £947 Million for the deterrent fleet or,£237 Million per submarine per year.