Lockheed Martin Corp.’s aeronautics division has been awarded a contract modification worth $7.8bn to produce and deliver 126 F-35 aircraft to various governments, including the US Air Force, US Navy, and international allies.

The modification to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract exercises options for producing and delivering Lot 17 F-35 aircraft.

The agreement includes 81 F-35A aircraft, 26 F-35B aircraft, and 19 F-35C aircraft.

The F-35 is a fifth-generation stealth fighter that combines advanced sensors and computer technology with a highly manoeuvrable airframe. It is designed to be a multi-role aircraft that can perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions and provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.

Worldwide procurement of the F-35

Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin will produce and deliver 43 F-35A aircraft for the US Air Force, eight for the Government of Finland, seven for the Government of Italy, six for the Government of The Netherlands, six for the Government of Poland, four for the Government of Japan, four for the Government of Belgium, and three for the Government of Denmark.

The company will also produce and deliver 15 F-35B aircraft for the US Marine Corps, seven for the Government of the United Kingdom, two for the Government of Italy, and two for the Government of Japan.

Additionally, Lockheed Martin will produce and deliver 13 F-35C aircraft for the US Navy and six for the US Marine Corps.

In Europe, the growth of the Combat Aircraft segment is mainly driven by F-35 programs in countries such as the UK, Norway, Belgium and Finland, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033” report. 

Progress and milestones on the contract have been announced in the last month, with the US Navy continuing progress on the F-35C lot 17 contract. The United States Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $32.46m contract for producing nine Lot 17 F-35C aircraft.

The work will be performed in various locations, most of which will occur in Fort Worth, Texas. The contract is expected to be completed by August 2026.

Lockheed Martin’s dominance in the military fixed-wing market

Lockheed Martin is a global leader in aerospace and defence technologies. The company’s F-35 program is the most extensive defence program in the world, with 15 partner countries and customers across the globe.

The F-35 is a vital part of the US military’s future strategy, and the aircraft is expected to play a critical role in ensuring global security for decades.

According to “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033” report from GlobalData, the report highlights that Lockheed Martin takes a huge market share continentally, as they account for the highest revenue share in Europe as they hold 23.4% of the market, they lead the North American market with 43.7% share of the market.

They are the second leading supplier in Asia-Pacific, holding a 15.2% market share.

The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity for the F-35 program. 

Lockheed Martin recorded $15.1bn in sales in Q1, and a segment operating profit of $1.7bn, representing a 16% growth from Q1 2022.