Lockheed Martin and Pentagon officials have confirmed plans to purchase a total of 90 F-35 fighter jets, and the aerospace company gives credit to Trump for reducing the price per unit.
Lockheed issued the following official statement:
“President Trump’s personal involvement in the F-35 program accelerated the negotiations and sharpened our focus on driving down the price. The agreement was reached in a matter of weeks and represents significant savings over previous contracts.”
The contract is reportedly worth $8.5 billion, which had been reduced by $728 million after Trump voiced his criticism in December about the price tag being “out of control” and on program delays. He also tweeted about looking to the comparable Boeing F-18 as a lower priced alternative.
The current negotiation marks the first time in history that the price per unit fell below $100 million.
Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer, called the contract “a good and fair deal for the taxpayers, the U.S. government, allies, and industry.” He added, “We continue to work with industry to drive costs out of the program.”
The Hill reports:
The latest contract is for 44 F-35As for the Air Force, nine F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and two F-35Cs for the Navy. The remaining 35 jets will go to international partners and foreign military sales customers.
The price per unit will be $94.6 million for the F-35A, $122.8 million for the F-35B and $121.8 million for the F-35C.
It has been reported that the F-35 is the most expensive acquisition program in Pentagon history, estimated to total $400 billion for 2,457 planes.
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