The F-35 fighter airplane made by Lockheed Martin is a single engine, single seat fifth generation aircraft that can participate in stealth multirole fighters. The F35 fighter aircraft has not participated in any combat missions, but they were announced to be combat ready after intensive testing. The f-35 program is undeniably the most expensive defense system weapon system that has received criticism all over the world. The USA predominantly funds the F35 program while many allies and partners also contribute to the development of the airplane.
The F35 program is several billion dollars over the budget and it is behind the schedule. The critics argue that the design is flawed and the manufacturer shouldn’t be allowed to enter the production stage without adequate testing. The defense system program has already gained enough political momentum and the huge sunk cost make it impossible to kill the deal at the moment. The president-elect Donald Trump expressed his disappointment in the involved cost and delay of the F35 program in his first press conference. This immediately affected the stocks of Lockheed Martin on Wednesday. Immediately after the comments by Donald Trump, the shares fell by 1%.
Donald Trump said to the press that his government will take measures to bring the cost of the F35 way down. He said that the project is long overdue and it has already consumed several billion dollars. Trump said that the new government will do some big things on the F35 and F18 program to bring down the cost of the defense weapons system. The F35 program has been questioned by several experts ahead of Trump.
On 13th January, the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, Marilyn Hewson met with the new president-elect Donald Trump to discuss the details about the F35 program. She said that the company is focusing on closing a deal that will bring down the cost of the aircraft. Hewson said that Lockheed Martin also wants to provide the best capability to the soldiers at the lowest possible price. She added that the new deal will reduce the price of the aircraft compared to the previous lot and it will also bring new jobs to the country.
According to Hewson, the new contract deal will allow Lockheed Martin to create 1800 jobs in Fort Worth. It will also create 38900 jobs in Texas. The supply chain used in the manufacture of the F35 program also influences 45 states. The stocks which were facing a tough time gained 1% after these comments from Hewson.
In early December, president-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the cost of the F35 program is out of control. He also added that he had a talk with Boeing to make an F18 Super Hornet which is comparable to F35. The new meeting is expected to resolve the conflicts between the new administration and Lockheed Martin. The defense secretary pick by Trump, James N. Mattis told the lawmakers that Donald Trump truly supports the F35 program, but he wants the best bang for the buck.