In a press conference today, President-Elect Donald Trump reiterated his intent to be involved in government contracting. In his opening remarks, he spoke about the F-35 program, saying: “We’re going to get those costs way down, and we’re going to get the plane to be even better, and we’re going to get some competition and it’s going to be a beautiful thing.”
Trump has often singled out the F-35 striker jet as problematic, citing schedule delays and cost overruns as unacceptable, and even going so far as to wonder aloud whether the F-35 is the right plane for the job.
Air Force Secretary: F-35 Here to Stay Outgoing Secretary of the U.S. Air Force Deborah Lee James said recently she expects the F-35 striker jet program to continue apace, despite public criticisms from the president-elect. “Everything that I know from the chief requirements officer of the Air Force — namely the chief of staff — is that the requirements of the F-35 are crucial and that the program is coming along.” she said. “Certainly all additional cost controls and efficiencies are extremely appreciated…but as far as the capabilities of the F-35…it’s performing magnificently.”
In predictable news, Lockheed Martin’s shares fell again, due to Trump’s comments.