Lockheed Martin told President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE it will hire more than 1,800 new workers, CEO Marillyn Hewson said Friday.
“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,” Hewson said Friday after meeting Trump, according to The Star-Telegram.
“In fact, we are going to increase our jobs in Fort Worth by 1,800 jobs and when you think about the supply chain across 45 states in the U.S., it’s going to be thousands and thousands of jobs,” she added.
“And I also had the opportunity to give him some ideas on things we can do to continue to drive the cost down on the F-35 program, so it was a great meeting.”
Hewson met with Trump on Friday at Trump Tower in New York City.
Lockheed’s Fort Worth plant employs 14,000 workers, with about 8,800 working on the F-35.
The defense contractor has previously said it will hire more than 1,000 workers there as production ramped up.
Hewson said Lockheed is continuing work to drive the cost of the F-35 project down to about $85 million within the 2019–20 time frame.
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to tell [Trump] 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.”
Trump criticized the F-35 project last month, calling the program and its cost “out of control.”
Hewson promised to “drive the cost down aggressively” after meeting with the president-elect in late December.
The Pentagon’s F-35 program is the most expensive project in its history, with an estimated price tag of roughly $400 billion for 2,457 planes.