Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $11.5bn contract by the US Department of Defense (DoD) for the production of low-rate initial production Lot 11 (LRIP 11) 141 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft.

The unit cost of the aircraft has been further reduced by 5.4% to $89.2m for the 11th consecutive year.

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The US Armed Forces will use 91 jets, while 28 will be used by international partners and the remaining by foreign military sales customers.

Deliveries of the LRIP 11 aircraft are expected to start in 2019.

The Boeing Company has secured a $9.2bn contract to deliver 351 T-X advanced pilot training aircraft to the US Air Force.

Awarded by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the contract includes the delivery of 46 simulators, associated ground-based training systems, spare parts, support equipment, and sustainment services.

Contractual work will be performed in St Louis, Missouri, until 2034.

The US State Department has approved a $3.5bn foreign military sale of 16 H-47 Chinook extended-range helicopters to the UK Government.

The proposed sale includes other support systems such as 36 T-55-GA-714A engines, 48 embedded GPS inertial navigation units, 22 radio-frequency countermeasures, 20 common missile warning systems, 19 multi-mode radars, and 19 electro-optical sensor systems.

Manufactured by Boeing, the new helicopters will provide enhanced heavy-lift rotary-wing capability in the UK’s demanding environments.

Honeywell International Inc has secured a $1.036bn contract from the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation to provide support for the auxiliary power units of C-130, B-2, A-10, E-3 and B-1 aircraft.

The company will also provide support for the components of the F-15 fighter aircraft and for the ground start carts, under the contract.

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $792m contract by the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center to support the US Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle programme.”

The contract has a three-year and six-month base period in addition to three-year, and three-year and six-month extension options.

Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has signed a head agreement with the Government of Australia for the sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

BDA will provide lifecycle upgrades and sustainment for the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft to improve its operational capability until 2025.

The agreement includes the existing Wedgetail in-service support contracts worth $1.5bn. It will support 600 jobs across the country.

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $792m contract by the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center to support the US Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle programme.

The launch services agreement will allow Northrop to continue the development of both intermediate and heavy variants of the OmegA rocket through 2024.

Scheduled for launch in 2021, the OmegA rocket aims to provide intermediate to heavy-class launch services for the US Department of Defense, civil and commercial customers.

The New Glenn Launch System for the rocket will be developed by Blue Origin, while the Vulcan Centaur Launch System will be built by United Launch Alliance.

Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies Inc have entered a merger agreement to create a new company called L3 Harris Technologies Inc.

Harris will hold approximately 54% stake, while the remaining share will be owned by L3 Technologies following the completion of the merger in mid-2019.

The combined company will operate with an employee base of 48,000 and is anticipated to generate $16bn in revenue for the calendar year 2018.

The merger will help expand Harris’ defense technology business while strengthening L3 Technologies’ global presence.

TransDigm Group Incorporated has entered an agreement to acquire Esterline Technologies Corporation for $4bn.

Scheduled for completion in the second half of 2019, the transaction will allow TransDigm to expand its services for the aerospace and defence industries.

Esterline manufactures specialty products for the aerospace and defence markets, whereas TransDigm develops and manufactures military and commercial aerospace components. Both companies are based in the US.