NEVATIM AIR BASE, Israel Dec 12 Lockheed Martin
has invested large sums of money to reduce the price of the F-35
stealth fighter programme, a company executive said in Israel on
Monday, responding to criticism from U.S. President-elect Donald
Trump about costs.
"Since the beginning, we have invested hundreds of millions
of dollars to reduce the price of the airplane by about 70
percent since its original costing, and we project it to be
about 85 million dollars in the 2019 or 2020 time frame", said
Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin's F-35 programme leader.
Babione was in Israel for the arrival of the first F-35s
ordered by the Israeli air force. Trump wrote on Twitter earlier
on Monday that the F-35 programme and cost is "out of control"
and that billions of dollars can be saved on military and other
purchases once he is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
(Reporting by Ori Lewis; Writing by Jeffrey Heller in
Jerusalem; Editing by Luke Baker)