Lockheed Martin Awarded $4.7 Billion for 78 F-35 Lightning IIs

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded a contract modification, worth around $4.7 billion, for the procurement of 78 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft.

The F-35 has three variants namely F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant and the F-35C carrier variant (CV). This contract modification includes 48 F-35As for the U.S. Air Force (USAF), 14 F-35Bs for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), 16 F-35Cs for the U.S. Navy (USN), and associated aircraft red gear.

The contract work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (63%); El Segundo, California (14%); Warton, United Kingdom (9%); Orlando, Florida (4%); Nashua, New Hampshire (3%); Baltimore, Maryland (3%); San Diego, California (2%); and various locations within and outside the continental U.S. (2%). Work is expected to be complete by March 2023.

Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of around $2.7 billion and fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of around $2 billion will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Department of Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-17-C-0001)(P00033).

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth multirole combat aircraft, designed for both air superiority and strike missions.

The aircraft was developed and is built by Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors, which include Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems.

The aircraft descends from the Lockheed Martin X-35, which in 2001 beat the Boeing X-32 to win the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The F-35B entered service with the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2015, followed by the U.S. Air Force F-35A in August 2016 and the U.S. Navy F-35C in February 2019. The U.S. had plans to buy 2,443 F-35s through 2037 as of 2013, which will represent the bulk of the crewed tactical airpower of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps for several decades. The aircraft is projected to operate until 2070. The F-35 was first used in combat in 2018, by the Israeli Air Force.

Lockheed Martin has recently announced that the company and the F-35 Joint Program Office delivered the 500th production  F-35. The 500th production aircraft is a U.S. Air Force F-35A, to be delivered to the Burlington Air National Guard Base in Vermont. The company also announced that the global fleet of F-35 jets surpassed 250,000 flight hours.

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