Lockheed Martin CEO Commits to Driving Down F-35 Fighter's Costs
Dec 24 2016 by Elias Hubbard
Donald Trump's tweets targeting Boeing and Lockheed Martin won't lower defense costs much but may give the president-elect the upper hand in procurement talks, two military analysts told CNBC on Friday.
"I had a productive meeting with President-elect Trump this afternoon", Hewson said in the statement. We haven't actually started the build of the airplane yet, but once we finalize the requirements and make sure that it's affordable we'll launch on building the aircraft.
The F-18 was designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft, capable of carrying a wide variety of bombs and missiles, supplemented by the 20-mm M61 Vulcan cannon.
The Navy's current plan is to rely on the F-35 during the opening days of a conflict "because it is invisible to enemy radar, and then shift over to use of Super Hornets", Thompson said. Defense analysts estimate the F/ A-18 costs $70 million to $80 million.
CNBC's Steve Liesman weighed in and suggested that replacing a Lockheed Martin fighter jet with one from a competing fighter jet maker isn't the same as replacing a "Chevrolet with a Chrysler". More than 3,000 planes will eventually be built for the USA and 11 other countries. The country will still consider the F-35 as a long-term replacement in its fleet of fighter jets.
The tweet shook the political and defense contracting worlds, as Trump challenged the aviation giant and threatened to pull a contract responsible for hundreds of American jobs. "How persistently and comprehensively the new administration will reinforce this message remains unclear".