After then President-elect Donald Trump got involved with defense spending with Boeing and other defense giants, Lockheed Martin found a way to reduced the price of the last F-35 batch by $700 million.
CNN reported that Lockheed Martin had made an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense to sell 90 new F-35 fights jets for $8.5 billion – a deal that amounts to more than $700 million in savings over the previous batch of aircraft delivered.
Lockheed Martin credited President Donald Trump for helping in the accelerated negotiations and ability to drive down the price of what is already the most expensive weapons program in history.
The cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program found itself in Donald Trump’s crosshairs on several occasions in recent weeks and Trump called for a review of whether a modified version of the older F/A-18 aircraft could replace the Navy’s costly F-35 variant.
Marilyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s CEO, gave then-President-elect Trump her personal commitment to cut the cost of the stealthy F-35 fighter jet after Trump posted a tweet criticizing the program and newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered the Pentagon to conduct a review of the $400 billion program last week.
Once official, the deal in principle would mark the first time that costs for any of the three versions of the fifth generation fighter jet will have dipped below $100 million per plane.
For this new batch of F-35s, the Air Force’s A version will cost $94.6 million, the B version flown by the Marines will cost $122.8 million, and the Navy’s C version will cost $121.8 million.
“The agreement represents $728 million in savings and a nearly 8 percent reduction in price over our last contract for the air vehicle delivered by Lockheed Martin and our industry partners,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement to CNN. “This is a good deal for the American taxpayer, our country, our company and our suppliers.”