Pratt & Whitney has secured a contract worth $1.4bn from the US Department of Defense (DoD) for the production of the ninth low-rate initial production (LRIP-9) batch of F135 propulsion systems to power the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company 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 US Air Force (USAF), Navy and Marine Corps, as well as Italy, Norway, Israel, Japan and the UK.
Additionally, the contract includes provision for programme management, engineering support, production non-recurring effort, and tooling.
Pratt & Whitney F135 Engine Programme vice-president Mark Buongiorno said: "The latest agreement with the F-35 Joint Program Office continues a reduction in costs associated with engine production, and demonstrates our commitment in providing affordable and dependable propulsion for the global F-35 programme.
"We remain laser-focused on reducing costs, meeting our delivery schedule commitments, ensuring dependable engine performance, and preparing for global sustainment of the F-35 fleet."
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In a separate development, USAF officials have named candidate bases for the first Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II location.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona, Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in Texas and Whiteman AFB in Missouri have been named as the location.
Additionally, the USAF has released a basing criterion to select candidate bases for two Air National Guard squadrons, which will receive their first aircraft in the second quarter of 2022.
Image: Gray fighter aircraft flying in a clear blue sky with sea coast below. Photo: courtesy of Andy Wolfe / US Navy.