Pentagon, Lockheed sign $4 billion deal for more F-35 jets
25 Oct 2014 18:43
The United States Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have struck a deal worth about $4 billion, sources say.
The contract signed for an eight batch of 43 F-35 fighter jets will lower the cost of the radar-evading warplanes by 3 percent, the sources stated on Thursday.
Lockheed Martin will undertake to build jets for both the US and its allies.
According to one of the sources, the US can reduce the cost of the Air Force model of the plane by approximately 4 percent. The cost includes the expenses for 17 of the total 43 aircraft.
After an engine on Air Force jet failed on June 23, the entire F-35 fleet was grounded for weeks and this slowed the negotiations between the two sides.
An official at the Martin corporation said on Tuesday that the company could reach a deal with the Pentagon which would encompass weapons program worth $399 billion.
"We are encouraged by progress taking place and look forward to an agreement in the near future," said Lockheed spokesman Mike Rein.
In January, the White House gave the Pentagon its budget guidance for 2015 through 2019, calling for more military spending than Congress currently allows.
The fund would add to the $498 billion military base budget for 2015 which was agreed on in last year’s bipartisan budget deal.
The $498 billion budget includes $9 billion in relief from 2011 congressional budget caps, known as sequestration, which cuts the military spending by almost $50 billion in a decade.
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