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Lockheed F-35 Cost Declines 1.1%, Pentagon Estimates

The development and production cost of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, has decreased by 1.1 percent, primarily because of reduced labor rates, according to the Pentagon’s latest cost estimates.

The $4.5 billion decrease, to $391.2 billion from $395.7 billion, includes the aircraft and the engines produced by United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit for an eventual fleet of 2,443 planes.