Trump Wants A Boeing Alternative To Lockheed Martin's F-35

The president-elect tweeted he asked Boeing to draw up the price for an F/A-18 equivalent to Lockheed Martin's F-35.
SMS
Trump Wants A Boeing Alternative To Lockheed Martin's F-35

Lockheed Martin's F-35 planes are touted as the most advanced weapons system in the world. They're also the poster child for out-of-control defense spending.

Donald Trump told the press, "We're trying to get costs down, costs. Primarily the F-35."

And the president-elect says he has a solution — ask Boeing to build a comparable F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter instead.

SEE MORE: With One Tweet From Trump, Defense Contractor's Value Drops $4 Billion

It's true the Boeing jets are significantly cheaper; Canada opted for Super Hornets after balking at the F-35's price tag. But asking the Super Hornets to do everything the F-35 does is asking a lot.

First and foremost, the F-35 is a stealth fighter, shaped to be nearly invisible to radar. The F/A-18 is not and would need a full-body redesign to have a shot at becoming one.

Foxtrot Alpha previously reported on a prototype F/A-18 with a stealth body, but apparently it never got off the ground.

The F/A-18 also doesn't have the vertical takeoff and landing capability that some variants of the F-35 boasts. It'd take another major, expensive design overhaul to preserve that feature.

SEE MORE: The Pentagon's Weapons Tester Is Concerned About The F-35 Fighter Jet

Plus, the F-35 has some state-of-the-art systems, like a cognitive electronic warfare system designed to foil digital radars, that would also add to the price of a "comparable" Super Hornet.

Of course, Trump's tweet might be just a scare tactic to bring Lockheed Martin to the negotiating table. And it might work — his tweet trimmed $1.2 billion from the company's stock value.

Featured Stories
President Trump and some of his administration meet.

Reeling From Health Care Loss, Trump Administration Turns To Taxes

President Donald J. Trump.

In Lower Courts, Trump Could Reshape The Judiciary From The Ground Up

Paul Ryan leaves a meeting.

GOP Pulls Obamacare Replacement Bill After Failing To Muster Votes