Lockheed Martin has secured a contract worth $1.3bn from the US Department of Defense (DoD) for the production of the 11th low-rate initial production (LRIP-11) batch of F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will supply 13 F-35 aircraft for the US Marine Corps (USMC), the US Air Force (USAF) and the US Navy.
The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.
Three variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the USAF, the F/A-18 for the US Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the USMC.
The 13 aircraft under the latest contract include six F-35B for USMC; three F-35A for USAF and four F-35C for navy.
Production of the aircraft will be carried out in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland, the US; the UK; and Italy.
The single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft has been designed to take part in several missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and electronic attack missions.
The DoD has recently awarded a $1.4bn contract to Pratt & Whitney for the production of LRIP-9 batch of F135 propulsion systems to power the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
As per the agreed terms, Pratt & Whitney will supply 66 total production engines, including spare engines, spare modules, and spare parts for the field.
The LRIP 9 production lot includes 53 conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) and 13 short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) propulsion systems for the USAF, Navy and USMC, as well as Italy, Norway, Israel, Japan and the UK.
Image: Gray fighter aircraft flying in a clear blue sky with sea coast below. Photo: courtesy of Andy Wolfe / US Navy.