Trump’s claim of an additional $600 million applies to the next block
of aircraft—a 90-plane order. Negotiations for Block 10 were already under way
before the election, and the projected price per aircraft was under
$100 million. The increased production rate would reduce Lockheed’s
costs, in theory. With the price already set to drop by at least $2
million per aircraft, another 4 percent off the lot’s price doesn’t seem
to be much of a stretch.
Lockheed executives had promised a price reduction for the F-35 following a tweet by Trump in December. Aside from the tweet, and Mattis’ ordered review, it’s not clear what sort of work Trump has done on the program since.