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Pentagon Unveils New Cost-Cutting Initiatives for F-35 Fighter Jet

Reuters // July 11, 2016

The U.S. Defense Department on Monday extended by two years a project that has cut the cost of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter plane by more than $1 million per jet, and kicked off a similar project to cut operating and maintenance costs.

The Pentagon's F-35 program office is working closely with industry to drive down the cost of the jets - now running just over $100 million per jet - to around $85 million by 2019.

The F-35 program is the Pentagon's costliest arms program. The U.S. military plans to spend $379 billion to buy a total of 2,457 F-35 warplanes over the next decades.

Under the Blueprint for Affordability cost-cutting program first announced two years ago, Lockheed and its key suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Britain's BAE Systems Plc were due to invest $170 million in new technologies, materials and processes to lower production costs.

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