The United States Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $32,446,000 contract for the production of nine Lot 17 F-35C aircraft. The contract will cover the long-lead materials, parts, components, and associated support for the aircraft production, which the US Navy will use.

The F-35C is a next-generation fighter aircraft that is designed to provide advanced air superiority, surveillance, and strike capabilities. 

GlobalData’s “US Defence Market 2022-2027” report states the F-35C is the carrier variant (CV) of the model and will be operated by the US Navy. It is the world’s first stealth strike fighter designed and built explicitly for navy carrier operations.

It is the only fifth-generation aircraft designed for carrier operations and can operate from naval vessels.

Harry Boneham, aerospace and defence analyst at GlobalData, states: “The F-35C stands out in being the only fifth-generation carrier-based fighter, and so can expect to outmatch current competitors such as China’s J-15 or Russia’s MiG-29K and Su-33.”

The Lot 17 F-35C aircraft is the latest in a long line of F-35s that Lockheed Martin has produced. The company has been the primary contractor for the F-35 programme since its inception and has delivered hundreds of F-35s to the US military and its allies worldwide.

Source: GlobalData Intelligence

Lockheed Martin reached a 500 F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft milestone for deliveries in 2020.

Lockheed Martin will account for a 43.6% share of North America’s military fixed-wing aircraft market with an estimated revenue of $134.0bn over 2022–32, according to GlobalData’s report on “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2022-2032.”

Source: GlobalData Intelligence

GlobalData’s “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2022-2032” claims that the US is expected to be the largest spender on combat aircraft procurement, with $211.4 billion between 2022 and 2032. The US dominance in the military fixed-wing market is attributed to the country’s ambitious advanced military programs to maintain its global military edge over its adversaries and ensure air superiority.

The Lot 17 F-35C aircraft contract is an essential milestone for Lockheed Martin and the F-35 program. It will enable the company to continue producing advanced fighter aircraft for the U.S. Navy and other customers and will help ensure that the F-35 remains a vital part of the U.S. military’s arsenal for many years.

Harry Boneham, Aerospace & Defence analyst, continues, “The F-35C is innovative in that it brings 5th-generation capabilities to carrier-based platforms. For example, the F-35C is unique amongst carrier-based aircraft in that it deploys stealth technology and designs such as internal munitions stores.”

The contract awarded to Lockheed Martin for producing nine Lot 17 F-35C aircraft is a significant development for the company and the F-35 program. The program continues progressing and remains vital to the U.S. military’s efforts to maintain air superiority and protect national security. This month, Airforce Technology reported that Germany is set to acquire F-35 fighter jets to replace the ageing Tornado fleet.