Lockheed reportedly agrees to cut $600m in expenses over F-35 development costs


Lockheed Martin has reportedly reduced the costs associated with the development and acquisition of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter by around $600m.

The $7.2bn Lot 10 contract was awarded to Lockheed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) in November last year for the production of 90 F-35s.

US President Donald Trump was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We cut approximately $600m off the F-35 fighter, and that only amounts to 90 planes out of close to 3,000 planes.”

The US plans to invest $391bn in more than 2,443 F-35 aircraft over the next 15 years.

Commenting on Lockheed's cost cutting move, Trump further added: "They were having a lot of difficulty.

"There was no movement.

"And I was able to get $600m approximately off those planes.

"So I think that was a great achievement.

"We will be savings billions and billions and billions of dollars on contracts.”

"We cut approximately $600m off the F-35 fighter, and that only amounts to 90 planes out of close to 3,000 planes."

The contract requires the company to supply F-35 aircraft for the US Air Force (USAF), US Marine Corps (USMC), US Navy, non-US DoD participants, and foreign military sales (FMS) customers and non-US DoD participants.

Of the total aircraft, 76 F-35A are intended for the USAF, while the USMC and navy will receive 12 F-35B and two F-35C aircraft respectively.

The contract is an undefinitised not-to-exceed modification to the previously awarded low-rate initial production Lot 10 F-35 Lightning II advance acquisition contract, according to the DoD.


Image: A F-35A Lightning II during an aerial refuelling mission. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen.