Trump Claims Lockheed Will Cut $600 Million Off F-35 Costs

WASHINGTON -- Lockheed Martin will cut $600 million from the costs of the company’s F-35 fighter jet program, President Donald Trump said Monday, the result of weeks of negotiations between the defense contractor and the new administration.“I appreciate Lockheed Martin for being so responsive,” Trump said before a meeting with small business leaders at the White House, calling the F-35 "a great plane."Lockheed Martin did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation and comment on the costs cuts. Trump did not specify where the cost cuts would come from or how quickly they would be implemented.Costs for the F-35 stealth fighter jets have been a constant target of Trump’s ire since December, when he first criticized the price tag for the planes as “out of control.”The onslaught has prompted particular consternation in Fort Worth, where the F-35 jets are assembled, supplying thousands of jobs in the area. After several meetings with Trump, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said last week the company was "very close to a deal" with the administration on future costs. On Thursday, Defense Secretary James Mattis directed the Pentagon to review the F-35 program to find ways to “significantly reduce” the cost while maintaining the jets’ capabilities.  Continue reading...

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