Lockheed Martin has received a contract for manufacturing and delivering as many as 398 F-35 fighter aircraft for the US and allied nations’ military forces.
The contract has been awarded by Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Programme Office and is valued at approximately $30bn, capping off a year of F-35 aircraft.
The contract covers aircraft production under the Lot 15 and 16.
The Lot 15 features a total of 145 F-35 jets and Lot 16 has 127 aircraft.
Furthermore, the latest award includes an additional contract option for Lot 17 comprising up to 126 aircraft, including F-35s for foreign military sales (FMS) customers – Finland, Poland and Belgium.
The company informed that aircraft produced under Lot 15, 16 and 17 will be the first set of fighter jets to feature modernised hardware, called Technical Refresh-3 (TR-3).
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The TR-3 will be used for supporting F-35 aircraft with Block 4 capabilities. It includes an integrated core processor, offering enhanced computing power, memory unit and a panoramic cockpit display.
F-35 Joint Programme Office programme executive officer Air Force lieutenant general Mike Schmidt said: “The F-35 delivers unsurpassed capability to our war fighters and operational commanders.
“This contract strikes right balance between what’s best for the US taxpayers, military services, allies and our FMS customers.
“The F-35 is the world’s premier multi-mission, fifth-generation weapon system, and the modernised Block 4 capabilities these new aircraft will bring to bear strengthens not just capability, but interoperability with our allies and partners across land, sea, air and cyber domains.”
In 2022, Lockheed Martin has delivered around 141 F-35 aircraft out of the 148 scheduled aircraft scheduled for delivery.
The company said that the deliveries were delayed due to existing temporary pause in F-35 flight operations.