Pentagon, suppliers draft plan to lower F-35 cost: Pratt

The U.S. Defense Department and top suppliers on the $392 billion F-35 fighter program are developing a plan to drive down the cost of the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, the head of enginemaker Pratt & Whitney told Reuters. The project uses an “innovative” new mechanism to encourage companies to invest their own funds to lower production costs, Dave Hess, president of Pratt & Whitney, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday, ahead of his retirement at the end of the month. Pratt is a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX) He said the effort is spearheaded by F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT) and its chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, but drew lessons from Pratt’s own “war on cost” that used government- and company-funded investment to drive the engine price 40 percent lower in recent years despite a slowdown in U.S. orders.

    

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