President-elect Donald Trump’s preemptive strike on the price tag of two major projects with leading defense contractors has fiscal hawks hopeful the incoming administration can rein in Pentagon contract costs even as Trump vows to invest in rebuilding the U.S. military.


“I hope this will be an opportunity to look at the Pentagon more clearly from someone who has not been part of the system,” Mandy Smithberger, director of military reform for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), told


Since early December, Trump has been browbeating Boeing and Lockheed Martin over the costs of the next Air Force One and the F-35, respectively.


“I don’t need a $4.2 billion airplane to fly around in,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday” earlier this month, referring to Air Force One.


His criticism led to meetings last week with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson.


Muilenburg afterward committed to deliver the next Air Force One for far less than $4 billion. Trump then turned up the heat on Lockheed, tweeting, “Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!”

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