Science & Technology

Following Trump’s lead, Pentagon orders reviews of Air Force One, F-35 fighter jets

President Donald Trump’s protection secretary, James Mattis, has ordered reviews of the multibillion-dollar applications to amass new Air Force One jets and extra F-35 fighter jets – two applications that sparked his boss’ ire within the run-up to his inauguration.

“Yesterday Secretary Mattis directed separate reviews of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and the Presidential Plane Recapitalization program,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, stated immediately in a press release quoted by The Hill. “The aim of these reviews is to tell programmatic and budgetary choices, recognizing the important significance of every of these acquisition applications.”

Lockheed Martin is the principle contractor for the F-35 program, which has skilled price overruns and manufacturing delays. The Boeing Co. is working with the Air Force on the specs for 2 substitute Air Force One jets for use for presidential flights.

Final month, Trump tweeted that the Air Force One challenge must be canceled. He charged that the estimated price was mounting to greater than $4 billion, regardless that Boeing and the Air Force have been nonetheless figuring out the necessities for the 2 modified 747-8 jets underneath the phrases of a a lot smaller $170 million contract.

In a special set of tweets posted days later, Trump complained that F-35 prices have been “out of management.” Lockheed Martin expects to promote hundreds of the jets to the U.S. and its allies for a return that would finally add as much as near $400 billion.

Throughout follow-up meetings with the then-president-elect, high executives for each Boeing and Lockheed Martin identified that they have been already taking measures to regulate bills however pledged to work for additional price reductions.

Trump tried to play the 2 aerospace giants off in opposition to one another by hinting that the Pentagon may begin shopping for modified F/A-18 jets from Boeing reasonably than Lockheed Martin’s F-35. At this time the Pentagon stated its evaluation of the F-35 would come with a comparability with the F/A-18.

Boeing has stated it’s willing to work with the Trump administration “to affordably meet U.S. navy necessities.” Nonetheless, exterior observers say even modified variations of the F/A-18 wouldn’t be sufficiently stealthy to substitute for the F-35.

In a tweeted assertion, Lockheed Martin stated it “stands prepared” to help the Pentagon’s F-35 evaluation, and repeated its view that “there are alternatives to proceed to drive down program prices”:

We stand able to help @deptofdefense evaluation of F-35 program

— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) January 27, 2017

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