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Lockheed Martin-led industry team has been awarded a $1.4bn sustainment contract to support operations for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter fleet across the globe.

Awarded by the F-35 Joint Program Office, the annual contract will support sustainment activities for the jets that are currently in the fleet and build enterprise capacity to support the future fleet of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft.

The sustainment support activities include air system maintenance, pilot and maintainer training, depot activation, sustaining engineering, supply chain logistics, as well as automatic logistics information system (ALIS) support, data analytics and predictive health management.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Global Sustainment vice-president Bridget Lauderdale said: “This contract is critical to ensuring the transformational F-35s are mission ready to support our men and women in uniform.

“We are taking aggressive actions to improve F-35 aircraft availability and reduce sustainment costs.

“We are taking aggressive actions to improve F-35 aircraft availability and reduce sustainment costs.”

“As the sustainment system matures and the size of the operational fleet grows, we are confident we will deliver more capability at less cost than legacy aircraft.”

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By GlobalData

Under the 2018 annualised sustainment contract, Lockheed Martin will be responsible for providing sustainment services until 30 April next year.

Featuring stealth technology, advanced sensors, as well as weapons capacity and range, the F-35 is a fifth-generation lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft. It has the capability to collect, evaluate and share data that helps improve all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace.

To date, more than 280 F-35 aircraft have been delivered and are currently operating from 15 bases across the world.