'Repair Work' With Lockheed Needed, Air Force Chief Says

September 18, 2012

The new U.S. Air Force chief of staff said “repair work” is needed to mend relations with Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) as he renewed concern about its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

General Mark Welsh, who became the top uniformed Air Force officer last month, said he will meet with Lockheed Martin executives “in a couple of weeks” to review the operating costs of the F-35, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program.

“I still have questions about the operating cost of the airplane,” Welsh told reporters at the annual conference of the Air Force Association, a civilian group that promotes aerospace education. “The company knows that. If you can buy it and can’t afford to fly it, it’s not going to do you much good.”

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