The US Department of Defense is expected to lower its previous order of 84 F-35 fighter planes by 2020. In the budget of the Pentagon, which is reportedly sent to Congress next week, there will still be an order from 78 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF).
The adjustment is hard for JSF maker Lockheed Martin. Especially because the US Air Force wants to make money for the purchase of eight upgraded F-15 fighter planes from competitor Boeing. Defense in the US has in recent years reserved more money for the purchase of JSFs. That translated into larger orders this year and next year at Lockheed.
The current US Secretary of Defense used to work for Boeing, and the question is whether that played a role in the presumed choice. Patrick Shanahan has always indicated not to interfere with Boeing-related matters.