The CEO of the aerospace defense company Lockheed Martin, Marillyn Hewson, pledges to create an additional 1,800 jobs and significantly reduce the high cost of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program previously criticized by President-elect Donald Trump.
“We are going to increase our jobs in Fort Worth by 1,800 jobs and when you think about the [F-35] supply chain across 45 states in the U.S. it’s going to be thousands and thousands of jobs,” Hewson said outside Trump Tower following a meeting with the president-elect.
“I also had the opportunity to give him some ideas on things we think we can do to continue to drive the cost down on the F-35 program, so it was a great meeting,” she continued.
The announcement is another victory for Trump’s promise to bring jobs back to America, with companies promising tens of thousands of additional jobs following his victory.
One notable success for the incoming Trump administration was Ford’s announcement last week cancelling its plans to build a new plant in Mexico. Instead, it seeks to invest $700 million in Michigan, creating 700 new jobs in the process.
Another piece of good news for Trump was Hewson’s promise to reduce the cost of the F-35 military defense program, designed by Lockheed, which Trump has previously described as having costs that are “out of control.”
The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
“We had the opportunity to talk to him about the F-35 program and I certainly share his views that we need to get the best capability to our men and women in uniform and we have to get it at the lowest possible price,” she said.
“So I’m glad I had the opportunity to tell him that we are close to a deal that will bring the cost down significantly from the previous lot of aircraft to the next lot of aircraft and moreover it’s going to bring a lot of jobs to the United States,” Hewson continued.
Donald Trump’s choice for defense secretary, General James Mattis, reiterated Trump’s commitment to the program on Thursday, saying that “the president-elect has talked about the cost of [the F-35], but he has in no way shown a lack of support for the program. He just wants the best bang for the buck.”
The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps, plus numerous other countries, uses the F-35. The Marines’ version can take-off and lend vertically, similar to a helicopter.