BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 12, 2016) (RESTRICTED POOL) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took aim at another major defense contractor on Monday (December 12), saying the cost of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet program was too high.
The aerospace giant’s shares dropped about 4 percent in early trading after Trump’s tweet, while shares of several other defense contractors also weakened.
“The F-35 program and cost is out of control,” Trump said on Twitter. “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.”
A week before Trump won the Nov. 8 presidential election, the U.S. Defense Department and Lockheed Martin concluded negotiations on their ninth contract for 90 F-35 fighter jets after 14 months of negotiations on the deal, the Pentagon said.
Trump campaigned on a promise to cut waste in federal government.
Last week, he also used Twitter to target Boeing for its “out of control” costs on a new fleet of Air Force One planes, urging the federal government to “Cancel order!”
Lockheed and its key partners, Northrop Grumman Corp Pratt & Whitney and BAE Systems, are developing and building three variants of the F-35s for the U.S. military and 10 allies including Britain, Australia, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Japan and South Korea.
After Trump’s Monday morning tweet, shares of Northrop Grumman Corp were 2.3 percent lower and shares of Pratt & Whitney’s parent company, United Technologies Corp, were off less than 1 percent in premarket trade. Shares of BAE Systems were nearly one percent lower in London.