Lockheed CEO Announces Jobs Plan After Trump Meeting

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Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson arrived for a meeting at Trump Tower Friday

Hewson told reporters after the meeting with Trump that they are “close to a deal” to bring down the cost following Trump’s criticisms about the F-35 program’s delays and price tag, along with the addition of 1,800 jobs.

Reuters reported the cost of the F-35 program was estimated to be $379 billion and accounted for nearly 20 percent of the Lockheed’s total revenue of $46.1 billion in 2016.

Hewson’s first meeting with Trump in December didn’t go very well. Trump posted on Twitter after their meeting, “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!”

The President-elect also posted to Twitter in December that “billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases” once he assumes his White House role.

Trump again took aim at the F-35 program during a press conference on Wednesday, suggesting that Boeing’s F-18 fighter could be a possible alternative, even though it is an older generation aircraft that lacks the stealth capabilities of the F-35, according to reports. He also slammed the aircraft program saying it is “way, way behind schedule and many, many billions of dollars over budget.”

Hewson told reporters of her second meeting at Trump Tower Friday, “I certainly share [Trump’s] views that we need to get the best capability to our men and women in uniform. And we need to get it at the lowest possible price.”

She added, “I’m glad I had an opportunity to tell him that we are close to a deal that will bring the cost down significantly from the previous lot of aircraft for the next lot of aircraft. And, moreover, it’s going to bring a lot of jobs to the United States. In fact, we’re going to increase our jobs in Fort Worth by 1,800 jobs.”

Hewson later said of their meeting,  “I look forward to continuing to work together with President-elect Trump to drive the costs down on this critical military capability.”

H/T: Reuters, Sun Herald

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