Boeing CEO : Air Force One will cost less than $4.2 billion

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was scheduled to meet on Wednesday at his Florida resort with the chief executives of two defense contractors he has criticized over project costs.

Dennis Muilenburg, of Boeing, and Marillyn Hewson, from Lockheed Martin, arrived at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort where he is spending Christmas.

Since winning the Nov. 8 election, Trump has complained about the companies in Twitter broadsides and speeches for costs he said are too expensive, sending defense shares tumbling.

Trump has said Boeing’s costs to build replacements for aging Air Force One planes – one of the most visible symbols of the U.S. presidency – are too high and urged the federal government to “Cancel order!”

Trump has said the planes, which are in the early stages of development and are not expected to be ready until 2024, would cost more than $4 billion. The company is currently under contract for $170 million to help develop plans for the planes.

Muilenburg had told Trump that the costs could be lowered if the Air Force changes its requirements.

Similarly, Trump said Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet program was “out of control,” writing on Twitter that “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th,” the date he takes office.

The costs of the F-35s, used by the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, and by six countries, have escalated to an estimated $400 billion, prompting it to be described as the most expensive weapon system in history.

Hewson said on Wednesday she had a productive meeting with Trump regarding the F-35 program.

“I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the importance of the F-35 program and the progress we’ve made in bringing the costs down,” Hewson said in a statement. “The F-35 is a critical program to our national security and I conveyed our continued commitment to delivering an affordable aircraft to our U.S. military and our allies.”

Trump also has taken credit for forcing United Technologies and Ford to change plans to outsource jobs abroad.

Trump later tweeted his thoughts on the meeting, offering praise.

Source : cnbc