Lockheed Martin has secured a $1.9bn contract from the Pentagon to support operations and sustainment of the global F-35 fleet and continue to improve readiness and reduce cost.

The sustainment contract includes services related to supporting base and depot maintenance, pilot and maintainer training, and sustaining engineering globally.

Fleet-wide data analytics and supply chain management for part repair and replenishment will be covered to improve overall supply availability for the F-35 fleet.

The annual contract covers industry sustainment activities until 31 December this year and funds critical sustainment activities for existing aircraft in the fleet.

It also builds enterprise capacity to support the future fleet of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft.

Together with each US service, international operator and the F-35 industry team, the F-35 Joint Program Office leads F-35 sustainment and the Global Support Solution.

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By GlobalData

Lockheed Martin F-35 program vice-president and general manager Greg Ulmer said: “The F-35 continues to deliver exceptional capabilities to the field, and this contract ensures F-35s are mission ready to meet warfighter needs.

“The joint government and industry team continues to make significant progress in improving readiness rates and reducing sustainment costs. In 2020, we will continue to optimise and advance the sustainment system.”

Lockheed Martin continues to pursue 80% mission capable rates in the near term and aims to reduce the F-35 cost per flight hour to $25,000 by 2025.

Last October, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin finalised a $34bn agreement for the next three lots of F-35 fighter jets, setting the price of an F-35A jet below $80m.