Rival CEO got to listen in on Trump's calls on Lockheed project
00:45, Feb 18, 2017
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The F-35 review will look at "opportunities to significantly reduce the cost" as well as compare the F-35C to an upgraded Super Hornet.
"We are looking seriously at a big order" of F-18s said Trump to applause from the crowd at Boeing, the company that builds the F/A-18.
"President Trump's personal involvement in the F-35 program accelerated the negotiations and sharpened our focus on driving down the price", Lockheed said in a statement.
"When a president ignores the chain of command by going directly to a program manager, it creates chaos in the system", said analyst Loren Thompson of the Arlington, Virginia-based Lexington Institute.
After Trump summoned Lockheed chief executive Marillyn Hewson to Trump Tower and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida during the transition, she appeared to appease the president when she credited him last week with helping to bring down the costs for a new round of F-35 jets - even though the reduced costs had already been in the works for months.
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Bloomberg first reported that Muilenburg was listening in on the call with Trump, who has attacked Lockheed's fighter program over its costs and suggested it would compete against Boeing's Super Hornet.
Boeing did compete with Lockheed to design and build the F-35 almost 20 years ago, when the fifth-generation fighter jet project was first starting.
Bogdan then had two follow-up calls with Trump, Bogdan said Thursday.
On the 9 of January that phone call it was just myself and President-elect Trump.
Trump speaks at Boeing's SC factory.
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Boeing and Lockheed Martin did not comment.
Bloomberg Politics reports on one such muddled event - a demonstration that Trump, quite possibly, is a leader of the gang that simply can't shoot straight.
After the December 21 meeting with military officials and subsequent calls with Bogdan, Trump ordered Mattis to do a formal comparison between the F-35 and F-18.
The U.S. Air Force, which plans to buy 1,763 of the F-35A model jets, would not fly Boeing's minimally stealthy "fourth-generation" Super Hornet, which is designed for aircraft carrier operations. The Pentagon's first Quadrennial Defense Review in May 1997 said that "should Joint Strike Fighter development be delayed additional F/A-18E/Fs" beyond planned quantities "may be added later as appropriate to sustain planned forces".
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