Joe Biden Is Cutting 18% of Pentagon's F-35 Jet Order in 2025 Budget Request: Report

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 15, 2024 02:51 AM EST

President Joe Biden reportedly wants to cut the number of F-35 jets the Pentagon will buy next year. 

Joe Biden Wants to Reduce the Number of F-35 Jets the Pentagon Buys in 2025

Citing two sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that Joe Biden's plan for an 18% cut in the F-35 jet order emerged after Congress' cap on the size of the 2025 defense budget forced the administration to find savings.

President Biden Speaks On The Senate Passage Of The Bipartisan Supplemental Agreement
(Photo : Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the Senate's recent passage of the National Security Supplemental Bill, which provides military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 13, 2024 in Washington, DC.

With this plan, the Pentagon order for Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter jets is expected to be fewer than 70, down from the previously expected 83, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion reduction in spending on these aircraft.

This decision could potentially impact major defense contractor Lockheed Martin since a quarter of its revenue reportedly comes from the jet program. However, Reuters reported that international demand for the jets remains strong, with each aircraft costing between $80 million to $120 million, depending on the type. 

According to the outlet, Lockheed Martin shares dropped 2.6% after the news. In a statement, the company said it looks forward "to working with the Biden administration and Congress" on the 2025 fiscal year budget in the coming months.

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Overall 2025 Defense and National Security Budget of Joe Biden Administration

The sources told Reuters that the Biden administration's 2025 defense and national security budget request is expected to be around $895 billion, compelling substantial cuts in many programs and delays to existing initiatives, such as replenishing the weapons stocks exhausted by the Ukraine and Israel wars. 

However, the sources noted that the final amount could still change before the budget request's unveiling on March 11, even though the budget talks between the White House's Office of Management and Budget and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have almost concluded.

The Pentagon is looking forward to a $929 billion budget for fiscal 2025. In its fiscal year 2024 budget request, the Pentagon proposed a total budget of $842 billion and buying 83 Lockheed F-35 stealth fighter jets for $9.8 billion. 

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