Lockheed Martin has signed longer-term contracts with additional F-35 suppliers in an effort to increase supply availability and reduce sustainment costs.
The move transitions suppliers to Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contracts and Master Repair Agreements (MRAs).
Under new multi-year PBL contracts, F-35 suppliers will be able to make longer-term investments and actions to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
Lockheed Martin vice-president and F-35 programme general manager Greg Ulmer said: “As the F-35 fleet expands, we are partnering with our customers and taking aggressive actions to enhance F-35 readiness and reduce sustainment costs.
“The F-35 global supply chain is a key enabler to success, and we’re restructuring and streamlining several contracts with key industry partners to provide the long-term stability that will allow them to make investments, improve efficiencies and optimise their performance. This is one of several actions we’re taking across the supply chain to improve capacity, reduce costs and enhance supply availability.”
The PBL contracts have been awarded to BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and Collins Elbit Vision Systems (CEVS).
Lockheed has also signed MRAs for contracts with 12 separate suppliers, including Honeywell, GE and Eaton to enhance repair capacity and speed.
The company has stated that multi-year contracts are beneficial, citing a PBL contract awarded to BAE Systems for the Electronic Warfare subsystem in 2017 as an example. It is helping deliver a 25% improvement in the system’s availability throughout global operations.
The F-35 enterprise aims to achieve 80% mission capable rates in the near term. In addition, the company is targeting a $25,000 cost per flight hour (CPFH) by 2025.
In order to realise these goals, the enterprise is optimising resources across the fleet and leveraging data from flight hours.
The F-35 is an advanced fighter jet equipped with stealth technology, advanced sensors, supersonic speed, weapons capacity and superior range. The aircraft is known for its ability to collect, analyse and share data.
Earlier this month, the US stopped the delivery of F-35 equipment to Turkey in light of Ankara’s reluctance to scrap its deal to buy S-400 missile system from Russia.
Turkey is one of the partner nations of the global F-35 programme and supplies certain components for the jet.