Lockheed Martin CEO promises to cut cost of F-35 after Trump meeting

An F-35B test aircraft flies over the Atlantic ocean just after taking off from the USS Wasp on Aug. 23, 2013. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson promised to cut the cost of the F-35 after speaking with President-eleect Donald Trump. Trump had been critical of the aircraft's price, but Hewson promised her "personal commitment" to have it driven down. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) — Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson promised to lower the cost of its F-35 aircraft after President-elect Donald Trump criticized the price.

Hewson said she had a “good conversation” with Trump and personally committed to drive down the price of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“I had a very good conversation with President-elect Trump this afternoon and assured him that I’ve heard his message loud and clear about reducing the cost of the F-35. I gave him my personal commitment to drive the cost down aggressively,” she said in a statement on Lockheed Martin’s Twitter page. I know that President-elect Trump wants the very best capability for our military at the lowest cost for taxpayers, and we’re ready to deliver!”

Hewson’s statement came after Trump shared a tweet on Thursday criticizing the cost of the F-35 and threatening to commission a cheaper model from Boeing.

“Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!” Trump said.

Hewson and Trump met on Wednesday when she said the conversation she had “conveyed our continued commitment to delivering an affordable aircraft to our U.S. and military allies,” according to CNN.

Trump described the Wednesday meeting as “a little bit of a dance” but promised to “get the cost down.”

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