Lockheed Martin CEO 'Close to Landing Lower F-35 Deal' - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Lockheed Martin CEO 'Close to Landing Lower F-35 Deal'

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    Lockheed Martin CEO 'Close to Landing Lower F-35 Deal'

    Lockheed Martin CEO says she is close to closing a deal to lower the cost of the company's F-35 fighter jets, which are built in Fort Worth. (Published Friday, Jan. 13, 2017)

    A dogfight between Lockheed Martin and President-elect Donald Trump seems to be settling, and Fort Worth could come out on top.

    Lockheed Martin's CEO, Marillyn Hewson, was all smiles as she walked out of Trump Tower on Friday.

    "I had a great meeting with president-elect," she told reporters.

    It's a big difference from another meeting Dec. 22 that didn't seem to end so well. After it ended, Trump tweeted:

    "Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!"

    Trump criticized the cost of the F-35 program, calling it "out of control."

    The comment didn't sit well with employees in North Texas, where the jets are built.

    "I think he's crazy," said Lino Garay, a maintenance worker for Lockheed Martin for 38 years.

    According to Lockheed Martin, the F-35 program employs nearly 39,000 Texans and pumps $3.4 billion into the economy.

    Losing the deal would be a major blow, perhaps the reason just three weeks later, Hewson now says she is a close to landing a deal to lower costs.

    "I certainly share his views that we need to get the best capability to our men and women in uniform, and we have to get it at the lowest possible price," Hewson said.

    Hewson also said the latest deal would bring 1,800 new jobs to Fort Worth. That's 800 more than they originally anticipated.

    "When you think about the supply chain across 45 states in the U.S., it's going to be thousands and thousands of jobs," Hewson said.

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