While Lockheed Martin is having to cut costs, it is also expanding its business at the same time so in the long run, "they're going to better off", Trump noted.
In its statement on the deal Monday, Lockheed didn't address how Trump got to the $600 million figure, CNBC reported. And I was able to get $600 million approximately off those planes. Lockheed had committed to reducing the cost of the F-35A to an average of $80-85 million per aircraft by Fiscal 2019, down from over $102 million previous year.
During a White House conference on small businesses Monday morning, Trump highlighted the savings he said he squeezed out of defense giant Lockheed Martin. "We've ended all of that and we've got that programme really, really now in good shape, so I'm very proud of that", Trump said. He then posted a message on Twitter saying he'd asked Boeing to offer a competing bid.
Just last week, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered a new review of the F-35 program to to "determine opportunities to significantly reduce the cost".
Hewson said earlier this month while departing a private meeting with the president at Trump Tower that the company was "close to a deal" that would lower the cost of the program.
The Pentagon's F-35 Joint Program Office has not formally announced a contract for LRIP 10 to date.
Trump once again brought up the significant delays and cost overruns that the program has experienced over the past seven years, but said that it was now on track again.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter costs about $100 million per plane, though the company says it already expects the cost of the plane to drop to $85 million as the company ramps up its volume of production.
Despite the progress on Lot 10, Lockheed is still weighing options for legally challenging the JPO's unilateral contract action on Lot 9.