Report: Lockheed, Pentagon F-35 Talks Reach ‘Senior’ Level

Discussions between Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Defense Department officials on a fifth set of F-35 jets have advanced to a senior level, Reuters reports.

A source told Andrea Shalal-Esa the two sides are not far apart in negotiations, with the difference between the two sides at about $100 million, the report said.

Under a set of preliminary funds, the company has already started to build the fifth F-35 set but needs to finalize the contracts to complete that work and has already started work on the seventh set, Shalal-Esa reports.

After the current set of talks wraps up, negotiations can move forward on the sixth and seventh sets, according to Reuters.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the Pentagon’s incoming F-35 program manager, visited a Lockheed plant in Fort Worth, Texas last week for a series of briefings and meetings that included discussions with Larry Lawson, executive vice president for Lockheed’s aeronautics division, and Orlando Carvalho, F-35 executive vice president, Reuters reports.

Bogdan’s elevation to lead the program is part of a series of changes in government leadership for the F-35 program (click over to ExecutiveGov for more on that shuffle).

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