Lockheed and Pentagon reach $8.2bn deal for 90 F-35

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Lockheed Martin and the US Department of Defense announced on Friday that they have reached an agreement on a $8.2bn contract for 90 F-35 fighter jets.

The deal for the tenth batch of the fighter aircraft comes after president Donald Trump publicly chastised Lockheed over the cost of the programme.

“The F-35 program and cost is out of control,” Mr Trump said on Twitter in December. “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.”

In statement, Lockheed said Friday’s deal represents $728m in savings and a nearly 8 per cent reduction in price over its last contract.

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.

Analysts said the deal – which would bring the price per jet below $95m for the first time, compared to $102m in the previous batch, is in line with their expectations.

Lockheed had previously said the cost of the F-35 jet will come down over time as they build up better economies of scale and production efficiency. (see chart below)

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