Monday was kind to Lockheed Martin and its F-35 endeavors. One of its subsidiaries, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, will be awarded a $1.1 billion United States Navy contract to uphold the planned production schedule of F-35A fighter jets for the U.S. and several other governments, according to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Monday digest of military contracts.
The deal primarily aids the U.S. Air Force, which will receive 28 F-35A jets. Also receiving that type of aircraft are South Korea and Israel, 10 each; Australia and the Netherlands, eight each; Japan and Norway, six each; and Turkey, four. Also, seven F-35Bs (six to the U.S. Marine Corps and one to the United Kingdom) and four F-35Cs (to the U.S. Navy) will be awarded. The advance acquisition contract also contains a contract action for the construction of two F-35As for the U.S. Air Force and one F-35C for the U.S. Navy.
The majority of the $1.1 billion in funds benefits the U.S. military, while $406.7 million of the funding will benefit the other nations. Nearly $850 million in funds will be assigned at the time of the award, none of which will expire at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, according to the DoD. Of the $1.1 billion in purchases, the majority of the labor (85 percent) will be conducted in the U.S., with other work being conducted in the U.K. and Japan. All of the work should be finished in December 2019.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was awarded a second Navy contract worth $84.4 million for tools and test items relating to a previous F-35 advance acquisition contract. Nearly all of the work will be conducted in Orlando, Fla., and should be finished by December 2018.
Also on Monday, Lockheed Martin announced in a press release that it has met its 2015 goal of delivering 45 F-35s to the U.S. and the armed forces of various other nations. With the delivery of the forty-fifth fighter jet, Lockheed Martin said it has delivered 154 operational aircraft to the DoD and its partner nations since the inception of the F-35 program. (The U.S. military describes the program as the DoD’s “focal point for defining affordable next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and our allies.”)
“Meeting aircraft production goals is a critical stepping stone in demonstrating the program is ready for the expected significant production ramp up,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer as quoted by Lockheed Martin. “It took thousands of people around the world to achieve this milestone and they should all be proud of what they accomplished.”
“Delivering the most F-35s in program history is a clear demonstration of our growing maturity and stability,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program GM.
The largest number of the F-35s built under the contract, 26, were F-35As delivered to the U.S. Air Force.
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