Tags: Donald Trump | Money | Lockheed Martin | F-35 | jets | defense

Lockheed Martin CEO: Trump the Reason for F-35 Price Drop

Image: Lockheed Martin CEO: Trump the Reason for F-35 Price Drop
An F-35 jet arrives at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 06:02 PM

President Donald Trump was right to claim credit for dealmaking that accelerated the price drop in F-35 fighter jets, Lockheed Martin's chief executive officer said Tuesday.

In a brief with reporters, Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson pushed back on critics' claims Trump's boast of savings in the deal for 90 Joint Strike Fighters was predicted well before the president's negotiations, DOD Buzz reported.

Trump criticized the jet's costs as "out of control" late last year, and in January claimed credit for $728 million in savings on a $8.2 billion contract for the latest batch of F-35 jets.

Trump's involvement in discussions on low-rate initial production for the latest batch had "absolutely" made a difference in the timing and outcome of the agreement between Lockheed and the Department of Defense, Hewson said, per the report.

"He helped accelerate that along, and I think he put a sharper focus on price and how we drive the price down," she said. "He absolutely did contribute to us getting to closure on that."

Hewson acknowledged the F-35 cost will continue to fall of its own accord in future lots as more aircraft roll off the production line, according to DOD Buzz.

"I will admit that as we are wrapping up the program we will continue to see cost reductions just through volume," she said, noting the program has a goal of reaching a price tag of $85 million or lower by 2019 for the F-35A — the least expensive and most common variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.

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President Donald Trump was right to claim credit for dealmaking that accelerated the price drop in F-35 fighter jets, Lockheed Martin's chief executive officer said Tuesday.
Lockheed Martin, F-35, jets, defense
253
2017-02-21
Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 06:02 PM
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