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Trump's Lambasting Tweet Toward Lockheed Martin's F-35 Elicits Company Response

Trump's Lambasting Tweet Toward Lockheed Martin's F-35 Elicits Company Response

President-elect Donald Trump isn't playing around when it comes to taxpayers money. Championing himself as a master negotiator, Trump tweeted and called out Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) on Monday, blasting the F-35 program and costs as "out of control."

"Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th," the president-elect added in his tweet.


Lockheed Responds

Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin's executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 program issued a public response, which was sent to Benzinga.

Babione, speaking from an Air Force base in Israel as part of a delivery ceremony, said that Lockheed Martin has been active in investing hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the price of the airplane and expects each unit to cost $85 million in the 2019–2020 time frame. The executive touted the fact that this would make the F-35 less expensive than any fourth-generation fighter jet in the world — an "incredible value for anyone operating the airplane."

"We understand it's not just the acquisition price," Babione added. "Lockheed Martin and its industry partners are also investing in reducing the sustainment costs of the aircraft recognizing that much of the cost of owning and operating an aircraft is after it's delivered."

Babione continued that the company will further invest hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce the cost of sustaining the airplane over its 30- to 40-year lifespan.

Finally, the executive said that he welcomes the opportunity to address any questions and concerns Trump has about the program.


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Posted-In: Donald Trump Donald Trump Twitter F-35 Fighter JetNews Politics Movers Media General Best of Benzinga

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