Larson, Rooney Issue Statement on Deal to Reduce Cost of F-35 Fighter Jets
Washington, D.C. – This week, the United States and Lockheed Martin tentatively agreed to strike a $13 billion deal for F-35 jets, an important step towards lowering the cost of each jet to $80 million by 2020.
F-35 Caucus Co-Chairs Congressmen John B. Larson (CT-01) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL) congratulated Lockheed Martin on the preliminary deal.
“This announcement solidifies the Pentagon’s continued investment in the F-35 program which strengthens our national defense and contributes to over 194,000 American jobs, including 4,600 high-skilled manufacturing jobs in Connecticut. This is a critical agreement for our military, our allies and more than 1,500 American manufacturers across 46 states. I would like to commend Ellen Lord, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, for her leadership in ensuring that our military has the most advanced equipment at the best value while recognizing efforts and ingenuity of American manufacturers who support the program,” said Larson.
“As adversaries continue working to match the United States’ military capabilities, we must ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools they need to defend our country,” Rooney said. “I appreciate Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon coming to an agreement to help those brave men and women defend our freedoms while also driving down costs and saving taxpayer money.”
The procurement deal for 141 F-35s will help lower the price of the F-35A, the most common version of the stealthy fighter jet, to about $89 million—6% less than last year’s cost of $94.3 million per jet.
The House F-35 caucus isn’t Larson and Rooney’s first collaboration. The two congressmen teamed up in 2011 to strike funding for the alternative engine for the F-35, which saved taxpayers upwards of $3 billion. Passing the House with vast bipartisan support, the vote was named one of fourteen “Key House Votes of 2011.”