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Pentagon Wants 78 Lockheed F-35s in 2020, Six Fewer Than Planned

  • Move comes amid push to buy upgraded F-15s from rival Boeing
  • Acting Secretary Shanahan says long-term costs must be pared
A Lockheed Martin F-35.
A Lockheed Martin F-35.Source: U.S.Air Force
Updated on

The Pentagon will request 78 F-35 jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp., six fewer than previously planned, in the budget expected to be sent to Congress next week, according to defense officials.

The cutback from the 84 fighters projected a year ago for fiscal 2020 is a setback for Lockheed, the No. 1 defense contractor, even as interest in the plane from foreign buyers increases. The officials asked not to be identified in advance of the budget release.