Lockheed will provide for continued modernisation and sustainment of the US Air Force’s A-10 close air support fighter jet, under three contracts.

Under the contracts, Lockheed will undertake a trade study to search a new, more cost-efficient fuel system tester aimed at increasing overall maintenance effectiveness.

The $7.7m programme will include integration of the fuel quantity intermediate device to help pilots manage onboard fuel reserves more effectively and maximise time on station during training and combat operations.

The firm will also support the aircraft structural integrity programme for safe flight operations to ensure structural integrity of the A-10 fleet to the end of its service life.

The task orders are part of the Thunderbolt life-cycle programme support (TLPS) contract that allows the US Air Force to authorise up to $1.6bn of aircraft support activity during an initial four-year period followed by three two-year optional contract periods.

Lockheed was named as one of the three associate prime contractors for TLPS in June 2009.