Trump vows to cut F-35 spending

Washington, Dec 22 (IANS) US President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to cut the costs of the Air Force’s F-35 fighter jet programme, stressing again his eagerness to trim down government spending.

“It’s a programme that’s very, very expensive,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday at his Florida resort, adding: “We are gonna get the cost down, and we’re gonna get it down beautifully,”

Xinhua news agency reported.

Trump had previously complained about the cost of developing the F-35 on twitter, saying “the F-35 programme and cost is out of control, billions of dollars can and will be saved on military purchases after January 20.”

The remarks came on the same day when Trump met with Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of F-35 fighter jets.

Hewson said the meeting was productive.

Trump’s message reinforced a defence memo leaked on Tuesday, which detailed the president-elect’s “defence priorities” as defeating the Islamic State, building a strong defence, warding off cyber attacks and finding greater efficiency.

US media interpret the fourth point — finding greater efficiency — as streamlining bureaucracy to cut costs.

–IANS

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