F-35 Executive Defends Costs After Trump’s Tweet

The chief of the F-35 program pushed back on President-elect Donald Trump’s claim that the F-35 costs are out of control, saying that for the past five years the jet has been on schedule and on budget. Since the program’s rebaseline in 2011, the F-35 program has stayed on schedule, Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the program’s executive officer, said Tuesday, according to Reuters. Program contractor Lockheed Martin is now delivering more than 50 airplanes per year, Bogdan said. Trump last week tweeted that the F-35’s costs are “out of control,” prompting the company’s stock to briefly tumble before recovering. While Bogdan says he supports the next administration’s push to save money, the F-35 program has made progress. The jet’s costs have fallen, to a price of $102.1 million per jet this year for the Air Force’s F-35A variant, along with $131.6 million per jet for the B variant, and $132.2 million each for the C variant, according to the F-35 program office.