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By Mike Stone WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin Corp are close to deal for a contract worth almost $9 billion as negotiations are poised to bring the price per F-35 below $100 million for the first time, people familiar with the talks said Wednesday. The F-35, the Pentagon's costliest arms program, has drawn fire from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump who has made lowering prices for military equipment a pillar of his transition into office. Talks are still ongoing for the tenth batch of stealthy fighter jets with a deal for 90 planes expected to be announced by the end of the month, three people said on condition of anonymity.
Donald Trump and the media are digging in for what could be a long and bitter war. The president-elect, whose spent much of his campaign at loggerheads with the mainstream press, has been sharpening his attacks, and the news media is bracing for what some see as a looming campaign of intimidation. While many US presidents have had strained relations with the media, Trump has made maligning the press a core element of his message, foreshadowing a stormy relationship for the years to come.