Trump puts Boeing and Lockheed Martin in competition!

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On Thursday President-elect Donald Trump said that, because of the high cost overruns in building Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter, he has asked Boeing to submit an offer to build their F-18 instead.

The point here is not that Trump is going to change contractors. The point is that he is making them both aware that he can change contractors. Also, his meetings earlier this week with the CEOs of both Boeing and Lockheed Martin does not mean he is going to do what they want. Trump’s pattern has repeatedly been to meet with people who are likely going to be his opponents to ease their minds, and then sideswipe them immediately afterward with plans that they would have opposed. His meetings with Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio to discuss climate change did nothing to prevent him from picking a slew of climate skeptics for every single one of the cabinet posts involved in climate policy, people that both Gore and DiCaprio oppose strongly

Getting back to Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Trump’s actions in connection with their federal aviation contracts bodes well for commercial space. He is encouraging competition, a concept that the entire commercial space program is based on. I am willing to bet that when he finally begins setting NASA policy, he is going to demand SLS/Orion compete as well, or go by the wayside.



  • Vladislaw

    “The point is that he is making them both aware that he can change contractors.”

    Trump can only submit a non binding budget proposal to congress. Congress could ignore his budgets, like they ignored President Obama’s and decide to keep funding those political districts and Trump would have to actually veto the spending bill and survive a veto override.

  • Steve Earle

    It is for this exact reason that so many voted for a “business man” to be President instead of another Politician.

    I lost track of the number of friends that have said that they voted for him because “he is a deal-maker”.

    I also hope that he continues to back private competition over government pork, but at the very least he is looking like he will fulfill the desire, that I also overheard many times, that he be a “human molotov-cocktail lobbed into the middle of Washington DC” :-)

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