Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program receives $2.4B in contracts

An F-35B for the United States Marine Corps at Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Texas – the 134th F-35 delivered in 2019.

The week before the year 2019 ended, Lockheed Martin Corp. pulled in five U.S. Department of Defense [DOD] contracts totaling more than $2.4 billion for the F-35 program.

The F-35 Joint Program Office awarded the contracts between Dec. 27 to Dec. 30, according to the Pentagon.

The largest, a $1.9 billion contract, is for recurring logistics services for delivered F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Air Systems in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and foreign military sales customers.

The annual contract funds sustainment activities for aircraft currently in the fleet and builds enterprise capacity to support the future fleet of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft, Lockheed said in a news release.

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It will include services related to supporting base and depot maintenance, pilot and maintainer training. The $1.9 billion contracts will also cover fleet-wide data analytics and supply chain management for part repair and replenishment to enhance overall supply availability for the fleet.

A majority, 61%, of the work will be conducted in Lockheed’s Fort Worth facility.

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

On Dec. 30, Lockheed had announced the company delivered 134 F-35s in 2019, exceeding the joint government and industry goal by 3 aircraft.

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Lockheed touted unit and sustainment cost decrease for increased productivity producing the F-35. The price of an F-35 Lightning II is now $77.9 million, a decrease from previous years.

“The joint government and industry team continues to make significant progress improving readiness rates and reducing sustainment costs,” Ulmer said. “In 2020, we will continue to optimize and advance the sustainment system. We are confident F-35 sustainment costs will be equal to or less than legacy jets.”

Lockheed plans to deliver 141 F-35s next year and expects to hit peak production in 2023.

A $172 million contract was also awarded to Lockheed for long lead materials, parts components and effort for the production of 28 lot 15 F-35 aircraft for the Navy and Marine Corps.

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Another $98 million contract orders the integration of the Next Generation Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System into all variants of the F-35 aircraft.