Having failed to find the unit cost of Grumman's F11F Tiger in any established sources, or to find any budget documents that listed the cost, I conducted the investigation myself. The result—an F11F Tiger cost about $950,000 in 1954 (equivalent to $8.6 million in 2017) although each Tiger could have cost as much as $1.02 million in 1954/$9.3 million in 2017.[1]

A Wall Street Journal story from October 29, 1954 sheds some light on the orders. It states that Grumman had received a $164,587,184 contract from the Navy, and "more than $150 million of this represents production orders for the company's new F9F-9 Tiger supersonic carrier fighter" (early in development, the F11F was treated as a new version of the F9F, which is why the name doesn't match).[3]  Later, the article adds "Grumman Aircraft said the more than $150 million for the F9F-9 Tiger jet fighter was new, and was in addition to a $40 million earlier initial order announced for this aircraft." The article is linked in full here. This establishes at least two orders for Grumman's Tiger: one worth $40 million and another worth between $150 and $163 million. Thus, production of the F11F Tiger cost at least $190 million.

The number of "units," or airframes produced, is also nebulous. Wikipedia, without a citation, indicates 200 aircraft were made.[4] Greg Goebel's excellent Air Vectors site might agree. He notes that there were changes on the production line starting with the 58th Tiger produced and shortly after notes there were 142 more F11Fs made before the order was cancelled. Together these numbers imply 200 were made. However, he also notes there were two prototypes, an order for 42 evaluation/initial production aircraft, and an order for 388 production Tigers with another 85 modified for reconnaissance.[3] Joe Baugher's list of serial numbers indicates batches of 44, 252 and 134 serial numbers were reserved for the F11F for a total of 430. Of that second batch, 95 airframes were cancelled. All of the third batch was cancelled. None of the 82 serial numbers he lists for the reconnaissance version (The F11F-1P Tiger) were built.[5][6] Altogether, this leaves serial 44 + 252 - 95 serial numbers: or 201 machines built.

If 200 or 201 aircraft were built, with a minimum production cost of $190 million, this would result in a cost of $945,000 per Tiger. The $40 million contract mentioned by the Wall Street Journal probably referred to the 42 evaluation/initial production Tigers—plus or minus the two official prototypes. That comes out to $950,000 or $900,000 per F-11 in the first contract, and $960,000 - $1.02 million for the latter contract. Intentionally controlling the results, the "more than $150 million" could have been $151,000,000 to make the cost of each Tiger in the second batch the same as the $950,000 cost of each Tiger in the first batch. 

A figure between $900,000 and $1.02 million isn't a bad estimate. An F-100D Super Sabre (of similar size and power) cost about $697,000.[7] However, it was produced in larger numbers which can reduce unit costs because the company does not have to charge so much to recover the money the spent developing the aircraft, and the Super Sabre was not aircraft carrier capable which requires a heavier build. Plus, Grumman's Tiger was replaced by the F-8 Crusader which had a unit cost of $1-2 million.[3][8]

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