PROCUREMENT: Lockheed F-35 Cost Stabilizes at $406 Billion, Pentagon Says.

The Pentagon’s estimated cost to develop and purchase Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the costliest U.S. weapons program, has stabilized for now, according to a new report to Congress.

The total acquisition cost for the advanced fighter is projected at $406.1 billion, virtually unchanged from the $406.5 billion estimated last year, according to the Defense Department’s latest Selected Acquisition Report, which will be sent to Congress this week. The projections were obtained in advance by Bloomberg News.

Within the total — which includes research, development and initial support such as spare parts and military construction — the estimated cost to procure 2,456 U.S. aircraft has ticked down to $345.4 billion from $346.1 billion, or a 0.2 percent decline.

A billion dollars here and a billion dollars there, and pretty soon you’re talking real savings.