WASHINGTON, July 30 Lockheed Martin Corp
and the Pentagon on Tuesday said they reached an agreement for
71 more F-35 fighter jets, with lower pricing allowing the
government to buy all the planes it had planned despite budget
cuts that took effect in March.
In a joint statement, Lockheed and the F-35 program office
said the agreement covers 36 jets in a sixth batch, with each
warplane to cost about 4 percent less than the previous lot, and
35 jets in a seventh batch, also at a 4 percent discount.
Analysts say the two contracts will be worth over $7 billion.
The statement said details would be released later, but the
lower cost of the planes, coupled with lower prices on a number
of other smaller contracts, would "allow the Pentagon to buy all
the aircraft originally planned, including those that were in
jeopardy of being cut as a result of mandatory budget cuts
imposed on the Pentagon in March."