News ID: 174354
Published: 0704 GMT December 23, 2016

Trump drops Twitter bomb on Lockheed Martin’s stealth fighter

Trump drops Twitter bomb on Lockheed Martin’s stealth fighter

US President-elect Donald Trump has criticized the cost of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, saying he's asked Boeing to offer a price for an alternative to the expensive stealth fighter jet.

"Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!" Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Following Trump’s tweet, Lockheed shares fell 2 percent and Boeing’s rose 0.7 percent.

Trump's tweet came after he held meetings with the chief executives of both aerospace companies on Wednesday.

Trump also met with military officials, including the F-35 program manager, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan. He said during the meetings the focus was "primarily the F-35, trying to get the costs down."

The F-35 program, the biggest weapons initiative in Pentagon history, has been dogged by problems since it was launched in 2001, missing several deadlines due to many software bugs and dissatisfactory performances.

And its costs have escalated to an estimated $379 billion and are projected to cost another $1 trillion during its 55-year life cycle.


Lockheed is producing three models of the jet which will be used by the United States and at least 9 other countries.

Since being elected president in the November 8 election, Trump has denounced the F-35 as an "out of control" program, but he has also raised questions about Boeing's new Air Force One contract.

In response to Trump’s tweet, Todd Blecher, a Boeing representative, said they were committed to working with the incoming president.

"We have committed to working with the president elect and his administration to provide the best capability, deliverability and affordability across all Boeing products and services to meet our national security needs," Blecher said in a statement.

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