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Donald Trump calls on Boeing to offer quote for F-35 rival

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday said he had asked Boeing to provide a price estimate for a new F-18 fighter jet, after bemoaning the soaring costs of Lockheed Martin`s F-35 stealth fighter.



District of Columbia: President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday said he had asked Boeing to provide a price estimate for a new F-18 fighter jet, after bemoaning the soaring costs of Lockheed Martin`s F-35 stealth fighter.

"Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!" Trump tweeted.

His message came the day after he met with some of the US military`s top brass to discuss ways of reducing costs, particularly for the F-35 program.

Trump also met with Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson and Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg.

With a current development and acquisition price tag already at $379 billion for a total of 2,443 F-35 aircraft -- most of them destined for the Air Force -- the F-35 is the most expensive plane in history, and costs are set to go higher still.

Once servicing, maintenance and other costs for the F-35 are factored in over the aircraft`s lifespan through 2070, overall program costs have been projected to rise to as much as $1.5 trillion.

The next-generation F-35 fighter has been under development since 2001 and both the US Marine Corps and the Air Force have already taken delivery of some of their first planes.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet does not have stealth capabilities and has been in use since the late 1990s.

Proponents of the F-35 tout its speed, close air-support capabilities, airborne agility and a massive array of sensors giving pilots unparalleled access to information. One version boasts short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities.

Lockheed Martin describes the plane`s stealth capabilities as unprecedented, allowing it to evade the most sophisticated missile systems. 

Trump last week tweeted that F-35 program costs were "out of control." He has also blasted Boeing over the costs for the replacement Air Force One presidential jet.

Lockheed was down 1.90 percent at $248.00 in after-hours trading at 22:45 GMT, while Boeing was up 0.82 percent at $158.75

From Zee News

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