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Report: Lockheed, DoD Eye Potential $9B Deal on Next F-35 Batch by End of January

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and the Defense Department are still in talks and could finalize by the end of January a new contract worth approximately $9 billion that would reduce the price of the next batch of F-35 fighter jets to under $100 million per aircraft, Reuters reported Thursday.

Mike Stone writes sources said the new contract would cover the 10th batch for 90 F-35s.

The news comes a week after Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson said in a statement that the company is “close to a deal” on a new F-35 contract that would “significantly” reduce the costs of the fighter jet program and create an additional 1, 800 jobs at its production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hewson also issued a statement in December that she offered President-elect Donald Trump her “personal commitment” to reduce the F-35 program’s cost.

Reuters noted that DoD expects to allocate $391 billion in funds over the next decades to procure 2, 443 of the fighter jets and that Lockheed and its industry partners have started to develop a supply chain that would advance the production line in Texas.

Lockheed works with Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), BAE Systems and United Technologies Corp.‘s (NYSE: UTX) Pratt & Whitney to build the fighter aircraft for the U.S. military and its 10 allies, the report added.

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