The Defense Department announced an $8.2 billion deal for the latest batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters on Friday, known as Low Rate Initial Production 10.
President Donald Trump on Monday said he has been negotiating with Lockheed Martin Corp. officials to bring the cost down significantly since he became president-elect. “I got involved in that about a month ago,” he said during a meeting with business leaders at the White House. “There was no movement, and I was able to get $600 million approximately off those planes.”
In total, the latest contract represents a $728 million reduction from LRIP 9, Defense Department officials said.
The unit price for the service was reduced seven percent from the last batch of aircraft, amounting to $95 million per plane, the announcement said.
The Marine Corps’ F-35B and Navy’s F-35C variant price tags were reduced to $123 million and $122 million (roughly seven and eight percent, respectively) per aircraft in comparison to LRIP 9, announced in November, according to the Pentagon’s statistics.
Lockheed spokesman Bill Phelps on Friday said, “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. This is a good deal for the American taxpayer, our country, our company and our suppliers,” he said.
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