Trump tweets . . . and Lockheed pledges to lower $379B cost of F-35 fighter jets

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters, designed for ground attack and air missions.

f-35-fighter-jet

The F-35 is the most expensive military weapons system in history, and has been much criticized — for its design flaws; the procurement process in which Lockheed was allowed to design, test, and produce the F-35 all at the same time, instead of identifying and fixing defects before firing up its production line; and for its costs.

The Pentagon’s Office of Operational Testing and Evaluation said in a recently-released report that the F-35 program is plagued with:

“Significant, well-documented deficiencies; for hundreds of these, the program has no plan to adequately fix and verify with flight test…. The program currently has 17 known and acknowledged failures to meet the contract specification requirements…. The current schedule-driven program plans to close out testing in 2017 do not include enough time to fix these key deficiencies, nor time to verify corrections in flight test.”

The report recommends that Trump’s administration should “rigorously and comprehensively review” the aircraft’s effectiveness.

With flaws acknowledged by the Pentagon, the F-35 is prohibitively expensive. One F-35C fighter jet costs $116 million for just its low rate initial production without engine. By 2014, the program already was $163 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule. The entire F-35 program has cost taxpayers $379 billion to date, and is the Pentagon’s costliest program. Additional operating costs are likely to take the total to above $1 trillion.

On December 22, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump, a businessman, wrote a 24-word tweet, asking if American taxpayers can get a better deal from Boeing, Lockheed’s competitor.

trumps-tweet-on-cost-of-f-35-fighter-jets

Immediately after Trump fired off his tweet, Lockheed’s share price fell by 2%.

On January 13, 2017,  22 days after Trump’s tweet, Lockheed Martin Corp CEO Marillyn Hewson met with Trump, then announced that Lockheed is close to finalizing a deal that will significantly lower the cost of its F-35 fighter jets. Hewson also promised the company would create 1,800 new jobs in its Fort Worth, Texas facility. Those new jobs, in turn, will create “thousands and thousands of jobs” by bolstering domestic supply chains.

Hewson said:

“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. 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!”

Here’s what motivated Lockheed to lower its F-35 production costs:

lockheed-martin-stock-performance

Trump is the first President-elect — and will be the first President — to use Twitter, which unsurprisingly horrifies and scandalizes liberals and the MSM. Trump’s twitter strategy already has proven effective in motivating companies to invest billions in America — Ford, Chrysler, Alibaba, Amazon, and now Lockheed Martin.

H/t Public Interest Group

~Eowyn

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9 responses to “Trump tweets . . . and Lockheed pledges to lower $379B cost of F-35 fighter jets

  1. Trump is riding the wave: Not only is he the first Presidential Candidate to use Twitter (for free!), but he’s the first President that I know of to use it to fill the void that his predecessor created, through that predecessor’s inaction and bad policies. This could change politics forever and for the better.
    Twitter has proved itself to be a potent and influential force, and it’s perhaps the best social media out there, because it’s UNFILTERED. People can tweet within minutes of a news event and influence public reaction. Hopefully Twitter will prove itself to be a potent force in defeating the urge to censor that Zuckerberg and the Chinese are considering. (To my knowledge, China has banned Twitter. If so, President Trump has to tell the Chinese people how to get it).
    This is extremely important because the Chinese authorities have developed a social media scale, whereby one’s commentary on social media is rated and indexed. The lower the score, the more one is censored—and eventually banned—from social media.

    Could it be that the Left is FINALLY getting bogged down with the weight of its own delusional thinking? Let’s hope so!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Steven . . . Great post! I left Facebook several years ago due to worry over governmental surveillance (not that I was participating in anything illegal, I just didn’t like the idea that anyone was monitoring whatever I had to say.) I am glad to have your advice that Twitter is unfiltered, I was not aware of that before. I think that I may join Twitter. I really feel sorry for the Chinese people, this is the very kind of scenario that those of us in the US want to avoid.

      Liked by 4 people

      • But how do we KNOW Twitter’s unfiltered? Remember-initially the personal info used in getting a background Check to buy a gun was to be DELETED as soon as a decision was rendered,and look how THAT went…..

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’m on the other side of that argument: I have found Facebook to be a great learning tool and I’ve gotten intell I never would have gotten from any other source. Yes, there’s a lot of B.S. on it, but there’s good stuff, too. Get back on and send me a friend request.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin J Lankford

    And I suspect the internal quest for the scape goat has already begun.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Let us hope in their aggressiveness to continue their profit margin, they don’t outsource or buy parts that could prove fatal from China or similar countries.
    But, you have to love to power of Trump’s “pen.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • My understanding is that it’s already happened using solid state devices bought from China and IsraHell, our apartheid fake Mid-East democracy. When they were caught out they said it was a ‘temporary quality control’ problem now corrected, noncritical to the plane’s & ship’s performance, and they’d replace them w/o charge. But w/what? More of the same, I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Trump Tweets . . . and Lockheed Pledges to Lower $379B Cost of F-35 Fighter Jets | The Olive Branch Report

  5. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this interesting post. Indeed, it is noteworthy that President-Elect Trump is accomplishing things before he is even president. Clearly, his business background will assist our country in numerous ways.

    Like

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