Published: Tue, January 31, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

I Got Lockheed Martin to Cut $600M Off F-35 Fighter Cost

Trump has been pressuring Lockheed for a better deal since late December, when he blasted the warplanes program for cost overruns - and asked Boeing to "price out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet".

"I got involved in that about a month ago". "They were having a lot of difficulty". And I was able to get $600 million approximately off those planes.

He specified that the cost-savings would apply to the company's next group of 90 planes but offered few details on how the program or contract would change as a result. It was unclear from the president's statements how much if any of the $600 million cost-savings were new, or whether they contain savings that the company had already planned.

"I appreciate Lockheed Martin for being so responsive", Trump reportedly said, according to the outlet. Instead, the weapons manufacturer posted a boilerplate statement thanking the President for his "comments this morning on the positive progress we've made on the F-35 program".

Trump also thanked Boeing for responding to a request for a competing bid based on the F/A-18E/F, which shares numerous electronic and weapon capabilities of the F-35 but lacks the latter's very low cross section to radar.

Just last week, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered a new review of the F-35 program to to "determine opportunities to significantly reduce the cost". The JPO unilaterally mandated pricing terms for 57 F-35s in Lot 9, but deferred settling pricing on Lot 10.

"We cut approximately $600 million off the F-35 fighter", Trump said during the meeting in the Oval Office.

Trump also claimed to have fixed the F-35 program more generally: "There were great delays, about seven years of delays, tremendous cost overruns". The chief executives of Lockheed and Boeing met with Trump several times in the past month.

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