WASHINGTON – Lockheed Martin Corp has said that future F-35A fighter jets may be more expensive as rising inflation and customer demands halt a 64% drop in prices since the plane’s launch in 2007.
The first F-35A cost $ 221 million when it rolled off the production line in 2007. Since then, production quantities and craftsmanship have increased, helping the price of the fifth-generation stealth fighter to drop. at $ 79 million today as it gained traction and buyers in 15 countries.
LOCKHEED SECOND QUARTER BENEFIT IS MISSING EVEN IF SPACE BUSINESS INCREASES SALES
That trend may be over for the jet which has been criticized for its cost since the day it took to the skies. A price hike will open Lockheed to complaints from US lawmakers who won’t want to see more money spent on the Pentagon’s most expensive program. Moreover, the news comes as Lockheed negotiates its next contract with clients, including the Pentagon.
Lockheed CFO Kenneth Possenriede told analysts on a conference call that “because of where we’re at in learning, because of where we’re at with inflation and because of where we are at with the extra capacity they want on the plane, it is likely that you will see a price increase, a modest price increase from where we are today. “
The F-35 is available in three configurations, Model A for the US Air Force and US allies; an F-35 B model, which can handle short take-offs and vertical landings; and F-35C aircraft carrier type jets for the US Navy.
Possenriede said the price of the B and C variants “would likely stay where it is or continue to lower the learning curve”.
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Lockheed raised its full-year earnings per share forecast as the US arms supplier’s space business increased second-quarter revenue, while a $ 225 million loss in an aircraft development program classified caused the company to miss analysts’ earnings per share estimates.