UPDATE 1-Lockheed eyes deal for next U.S. F-35s in near term
WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Co Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson said the company is making "good progress" in negotiations with the Pentagon about the next two batches of F-35 fighter jets and hopes to complete an agreement in the near term.
Lockheed is building three models of the F-35 for the U.S. military and eight international partner countries - Britain, Australia, Canada, Norway, Turkey, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands. Israel and Japan have also ordered the jet.
Pentagon officials had hoped to reach agreement with Lockheed on the sixth and seventh orders of F-35 jets - deals valued at multiple billions of dollars - around mid-year, after protracted and difficult discussions on the previous order.
"We've been very open and transparent with our data and I think the negotiations are going well," Hewson told reporters in a teleconference.
"We've making good progress and we hope that we'll be able to close in the near term," she said.