Trump's tweet about Pratt & Whitney program causes controversy - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Trump's tweet about Pratt & Whitney program causes controversy

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EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

President-elect Donald Trump is taking aim at Pratt & Whitney, saying costs for their F-35 fighter jet are out of control.

Trump took to Twitter on the issue Monday morning, causing controversy. 

The tweet said "The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th."

The F-35 is critical to Connecticut’s economy, and there is strong reaction. It is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and the tweet sent the stock plunging  four percent.

The F-35 is the fifth-generation combat aircraft, and the only aircraft that can evade missiles on the ground and in the air.

The engine is made at Pratt & Whitney, and employs 2,000 people, not to mention all of the sub-contractors.

"This is a successful program and it is, by all accounts, it is the most powered jet in the world. We are all going to have growing pains and the president has growing pains,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Two F-35’s are being delivered to Israel this week, and the U.S. will buy 2,500 on the current plan. They will also be sold to the U.K., Denmark, Italy and other NATO countries at a cost of $100 million a piece.

Senator Richard Blumenthal said the price is expected to drop to $85 million in 2018.

"To arbitrarily slash across the board in this program will be a gift to our adversaries. That is why I hope the president-elect will take a full briefing and learn more about the facts of this program,” Blumenthal said.

Eyewitness News reached out to Pratt & Whitney on Monday, but they said they would not be commenting.

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