Lockheed Martin’s CEO Marillyn Hewson has publicly stated that President Trump’s efforts to get a lower price on the F-35 “did make a difference.” If you recall, then President-elect Trump put out a series of Tweets criticizing the F-35 program for high costs and saying the program was “out of control.”
“What he did do was to help accelerate the negotiations,” Hewson said during a speech at the company’s media day in Arlington, Virginia.
“The F-35 is the largest defense program in its budget and so for him to focus on the F-35 and to look at how you get the best price for the taxpayer going forward I think is perfectly appropriate,” she said. “I think he put a sharper focus on price and how we could drive the price down, he absolutely did contribute to us getting to closure on that. I will admit that as we continue to ramp up the program we will see cost reductions just through volume but his emphasis and engagement did make a difference.” – The Charlotte Observer
Hewson also noted that this is the lowest price yet for an F-35 and that Lockheed plans to save $5 billion more on the aircraft in the coming years hopefully getting down to $85 million each by 2019. Almost 50% of the F-35 future production growth will come from international customers.
Featured image of Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and President Trump in the Oval Office at the White House by Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP