President Donald Trump on Monday told reporters that his administration trimmed costs for the latest contract in the embattled F-35 fighter jet program by about $600 million.
Analysts, however, noted that Lockheed Martin and the Air Force already anticipated that the next order of jets would be less expensive than the preceding order.
The F-35, the most expensive program in Defense Department history, experienced repeated delays and criticism from both sides of the political aisle over its 15-year history. Trump wrote in December that the program's cost was "out of control" and claimed that he asked Boeing to submit plans for a potential alternative.
In January, then-President-elect Trump and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson met at Trump Tower, after which Hewson detailed plans to cut costs and add 1,800 jobs at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
Trump said this week that he became involved in negotiations for the next order of 90 jets in recent weeks and that, "I was able to get $600 million approximately off those planes."
Lockheed officials, however, long said that costs for the jets would decline as more aircraft are built, and The Washington Post noted that the company said in December — prior to the meeting between Trump and Hewson — that prices for the next order would fall by about 6 to 7 percent.
That would translate to $549 million to $630 million for 90 planes, and the Air Force budget already accounted for that level of savings, the Post reported.
It's not the first time that Trump attempted to take credit for business decisions made in the wake of his election.
He lauded billions in recent auto industry investment in the U.S. — despite executives' claims that such decisions are made long in advance — and famously inflated the number of jobs saved at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis.