An F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter takes off on a training sortie at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in this March 6, 2012 file photo. Canada is poised to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, sources familiar with the process told Reuters, marking a major renewal of Canada’s fighter fleet and helping contain costs of the expensive defense program. REUTERS/U.S. Air Force photo/Randy Gon/Handout.
Lockheed Martin is currently finalizing a $37 billion deal to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to 11 countries including the U.S.
The F-35 jets, which will debut at the Paris Air show next week, will be sold in three segments over fiscal years 2018-2020, according to Reuters. Lockheed Martin is moving toward this multi-year pricing structure in an effort to reduce costs.
The agreement between Lockheed Martin and the 11 customer nations, which include Australia, Israel and Britain, indicates the price per jet will be roughly $88 million per jet for orders made in 2018 and is expected to fall below $80 million by 2020. If the projections prove accurate, it would be the lowest price ever paid for the aircraft.
Officials from all 11 customer nations gathered in Baltimore last week to review terms and take a tour a nearby Northrop Grumman Corp. facility that produces parts for the F-35.
The latest cost reduction follows a February deal in which Lockheed Martin credited President Donald Trump for facilitating negotiations, which saved tax payers $700 million on an order of F-35 jets. As part of that deal, the Pentagon agreed to pay $95 million per jet compared to $102 million, which had been the lowest price paid up until that point.
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