Lockheed Martin CEO commits to driving down F-35 fighter's costs

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson leaves after a meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said its Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson gave U.S. President-elect Donald Trump a personal commitment to bring down the price of its F-35 fighter jet, after he heaped pressure on the aerospace company over the cost. Lockheed's shares fell on Friday after Trump's message on Twitter, and after he earlier tweeted that he had asked rival Boeing Co to "price-out" an older aircraft as an alternative. Hewson said in a statement tweeted by Lockheed that the company would "aggressively" drive down the cost of the F-35, which brought in about 20 percent of Lockheed's sales last year. Trump's transition team did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lockheed shares ended down nearly 1.3 percent in Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru, editing by G Crosse)