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Lockheed's Joint Strike Fighter--A Billion Here, A Billion There...

Monday, 14 Apr 2008 | 11:12 AM ET
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin

Australia may delay some of the Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighters it planned to buy because they cost too much. This, even though the Aussies are helping to create the next generation military jet. Wait, you mean there's already a military aircraft being built in part by foreigners?

Lockheed Martin is already at risk here at home of seeing the budget ax cut the F-35, also known as Lightning II, after the GAO said the cost per plane has increased 38 percent to almost $70 million.

Last week, the Pentagon came to Lockheed's defense (defense, get it?), saying that last year the company had improved productivity so much it saved nearly $1 billion. That's a lot of money. Until you realize that means the F-35 program will now only cost $298.8 billion over the next 30 years, instead of $299.8 billion.

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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