Following on Lockheed Martin's announcement that it is attempting to trim the cost of a single F-35 fighter by way of a $170-million investment between now and 2019, the Pentagon could be set to announce that it will toss in as much as $300 million to that effort.

"The US government has said it would invest $100 million in each of the three following years to get a total investment, industry, and government, of $470 million focused on design changes to the aircraft which will make it more affordable," Lockheed's director for F-35 international business development, Steve Over, told Jane's.

Currently, the conventional take-off and landing model, the F-35A, rings up around $115 million. Lockheed is aiming to trim around $10 million per year from that amount, with a targeted total of $80 million per plane (adjusted for inflation) by the end of the decade.

While no official announcement has been made from the Pentagon, the F-35's Joint Program Office told Jane's that "a number of initiatives" were being looked at to slash the price of the Joint Strike Fighter. Currently, Uncle Sam is analyzing Lockheed's plan to see if it delivers a good return on investment.

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