Lockheed confident F-35 contract can be reached before year-end

NEW YORK Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:20am EST

NEW YORK Nov 29 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp President Marillyn Hewson said on Thursday the company's talks with the Pentagon about a fifth batch of F-35 fighter jets were progressing well and an agreement was likely before the end of the year.

"Those negotiations are progressing well," Hewson told an investor conference hosted by Credit Suisse in her first major presentation to Wall Street investors. "I do feel confident that we're going to get to closure this year."

Hewson said Lockheed was also making progress in discussions with the Defense Department to secure additional funding for work on the sixth batch of F-35 jets.