According to a Bloomberg report this week, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have reached a deal on 71 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, with costs per plane being reduced by about 4 percent in the deal.
Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Pentagon reached an accord for the company to produce 71 more F-35 jet fighters, saying costs per plane have been reduced about 4 percent in a move that will protect the weapons system from automatic budget cuts.
The decrease in costs “coupled with negotiating lower prices on a number of smaller contracts will allow the department to purchase all the aircraft originally planned, including those that were in jeopardy of being cut due to sequestration,” according to a joint statement today from the Pentagon’s F-35 program office and Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, the world’s largest defense contractor.
The contracts may be valued at as much as $7 billion, according to two people familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified while final details remained under negotiation. That’s down from an estimate of $9 billion cited by Pentagon officials discussing the pending contracts at a congressional hearing in April.