Lockheed exec appeals to Trump to save F-35 program

An undated handout photograph shows Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-35 fighter jet.

An undated handout photograph shows Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter jet.

Lockheed Martin’s chief executive urged President-elect Donald Trump on Friday to save the defense giant’s F-35 stealth fighter program, which the Republican has blasted for “tremendous cost and cost overruns.”

Lockheed chief executive Marillyn Hewson journeyed to Trump Tower to make the case for the sophisticated fighter jet, which employs thousands of employees in Cobb County who build their center wing assemblies at Lockheed’s sprawling plant.

“I certainly share his views that we need to get the best capability to our men and women in uniform and we have to get it at the lowest possible price,” Hewson said after the meeting.

“So I’m glad I had the opportunity to tell him that we are close to a deal that will bring the cost down significantly from the previous lot of aircraft to the next lot of aircraft.”

In tweets last month, Trump said he was frustrated over “tremendous cost and cost overruns” for the jet and that he asked Boeing to price-out the F-18 Super Hornet. It was the latest example of Trump lashing out over defense contracts; he also criticized the potential high cost of the next Air Force One.

State Rep. Stacey Evans, a Smyrna Democrat, wrote Trump an open letter two weeks ago urging him to think twice about scrapping the fighter jet program.

“‘Never forget who we’re working for,’ is scrawled on the wall of the Lockheed plant in Marietta, Georgia,” Evans wrote Trump. “We should not send our military men and women off to protect our nation in an inferior aircraft if we can afford it.”

A chorus of lawmakers from both parties have also urged Trump not to abandon the F-35 program, which is spread out among Lockheed plants and subcontractors in 45 states. Hewson told reporters she emphasized to Trump that doing so would cost thousands of jobs.

“I also had the opportunity to give him some ideas on things we think we can do to continue to drive the cost down on the F-35 program,” she said, “so it was a great meeting.”

More: Trump takes aim, again, at F-35 program

 

Reader Comments 0

30 comments
Bob Miller
Bob Miller

Thank you PRESIDENT TRUMP. After the swear you in, we can stop swearing Obama out'

Danny Lynch
Danny Lynch

30 gazillion for a plane...cmon people

Tim Coleman
Tim Coleman

Keep our jobs and our technology in America where they belong we do not need to let our military planes or ships or equipment be built in a foreign land!!!!!

Sandra Lord-Drakes
Sandra Lord-Drakes

Running the military war machine like a car manufacturer has lead to most of these problems. Keeping people working on products that really aren't necessary is insane. No congressman wants to lose jobs in their districts for fear of losing power. It has become a house of cards.

Michael Dale
Michael Dale

Maybe the Lockheed executives could take few million off their pockets greedy with tax payer money

Michael R Williams
Michael R Williams

How can a man who has promised to strengthen the Armed Forces make such a ridiculous claim about the F35?

Sandra Lord-Drakes
Sandra Lord-Drakes

As a means of punishing companies he believes have slighted him.

Wilma Jones
Wilma Jones

And their bosses have been shafting the taxpayers for years.

Michael Ferrari
Michael Ferrari

Just because there are thousands of GA jobs at stake is no excuse for Lockheed soaking the taxpayers for millions for their planned ineptitude.

James Lewis Cole
James Lewis Cole

We have spent more on black ops in the last 18 years than the lifetime military budgets of our NATO allies. Let that sink in. The DOD spent nearly 750 billion dollars in S.America between 1991 and 2014. That is not counting the money they "lost" which went for black op budgets that are completely off books.

James Lewis Cole
James Lewis Cole

NOw let's talk data farms and CIA server farms. There is untold hundreds of billions of dollars spent on illegal data mining operations conducted in conjunction with the DOD and Homeland Security.

Rocky Buldo
Rocky Buldo

The vast majority of the cost of the project was Research and development. Then tooling up for production. Thus cost falls with every unit produced. Lockheed put the Force in the US Air Force. I'm sure Putin is pleased

Sam Nicholas
Sam Nicholas

Well....everyone wants military preparedness and to be number one, but noone wants to pay for the high tech requirements of high tech wars. But if everyone's cool with Putin being able to compete with our planes, cut the program and see how that works out for ya. How about stopping the $38B check to Iseael, you know..that same money they will use to buy them right back? Cut earmarks for bs, that's how it will get paid for. Trump needs to get his nose out of military issues until he's more informed. He got his plane from a Russian dope dealer and has flown it for long past it's retirement.

Jimbo Crawford
Jimbo Crawford

Need to audit the program,and fix the problems with it...

David Fige
David Fige

more then half is made overseas...

Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson

I just wanted to know have you ever build a fight aircraft? All parts made in the United States do you know why I think your smart.

Khalid Avito
Khalid Avito

Imagine how much good that money could do actual US citizens...

Steve DeWeil
Steve DeWeil

It is being used to provide a military that keeps your keester safe.

Khalid Avito
Khalid Avito

Carrying those things IN THEIR COUNTRY which we are invading... I can have an AK here. Should the Chinese army be able to invade and shoot me because of it?