Lockheed Martin [LMT] has received a more than $847 million contract for long-lead items for 105 F-35s in Lot 17 of the fighter buy.
On Dec. 29, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded the company the long-lead contract through May 2026 for the U.S. Air Force F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B, Navy F-35C, and foreign F-35s. The company is to perform more than half the work–57 percent–in Fort Worth, Texas, 14 percent in El Segundo, Calif,, nine percent in Warton, England, four percent in Orlando, Fla., four percent in Cameri, Italy; three percent in Nashua, N.H.; three percent in Baltimore; two percent in San Diego; two percent in Nagoya, Japan; and two percent at other locations outside the continental United States.
A year earlier, on Dec. 30, 2020, NAVAIR awarded Lockheed Martin a $904 million
Lot 16 long-lead contract for 133 F-35s (Defense Daily, Jan. 8, 2021).
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who spearheaded a two-year production pause for the F-35B as Pentagon acquisition chief during the Obama administration, has said that he intends to recommend ways to reduce sustainment costs for the F-35A.
The Lot 17 long-lead contract comes as the F-35 Joint Program Office and the Lockheed Martin-led industry team hope to move forward on a rebaselined program that is to deliver between 133 and 156 planes in the coming years (Defense Daily, Sept. 27, 2021).
The rebaselining “ensures predictability and stability in the production process while recovering the aircraft shortfall realized over the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lockheed Martin said last September.
“With this agreement, Lockheed Martin is scheduled to deliver 133-139 aircraft this year, 151-153 aircraft in 2022 and anticipates delivering 156 aircraft beginning in 2023 and for the foreseeable future,” the company said.
Three days before Lockheed Martin and DoD announced the re-baselining last September, NAVAIR awarded the company a $1 billion contract under Lot 16 to build 10 F-35As and six F-35Bs.