No more big cash infusions for F-35 cost overruns: Air Force

WASHINGTON Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:43pm EDT

The U.S. Marine Corps version of Lockheed Martin's F35 Joint Strike Fighter, F-35B test aircraft BF-2 flies with external weapons for the first time over the Atlantic test range at Patuxent River Naval Air Systems Command in Maryland in a February 22, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Handout

The U.S. Marine Corps version of Lockheed Martin's F35 Joint Strike Fighter, F-35B test aircraft BF-2 flies with external weapons for the first time over the Atlantic test range at Patuxent River Naval Air Systems Command in Maryland in a February 22, 2012 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Lockheed Martin/Handout

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Defense Department has no flexibility or interest in any additional restructuring of the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 programs that would lead to the transfer of billions of dollars into the program, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters on Monday.

He said that meant that any additional bills or cost overruns on the program could lead to a reduction in the total number of "tails" - or planes to be ordered.

Donley said he expected Lockheed and the government to "eventually" bridge their differences and reach an agreement on a fifth batch of F-35 production planes.

Those negotiations have been under way since December 2011.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gary Hill)

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