Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is in line for a $4-billion order from the U.S. Dept. of Defense to build 30 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets and advanced avionics for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The F-35 is an advanced combat jet developed with eight foreign partners as a replacement for numerous aircraft types for the defense forces of 11 nations.
The new award is not yet finalized and the final value is not yet determined, the Defense Dept. and Lockheed indicated, but it is described as a fixed-price contract and the fifth in a series of awards for low-rate initial production lots of the jets.
The assignment will allow Lockheed to continue manufacturing parts and systems for the production lot, and it sets a maximum value for the lot.
The Dept. of Defense has plans to buy nearly 2,500 F-35s in three different models for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The latest award includes orders for several of each type: the F-35 CTOL (conventional-takeoff-and-landing) for the Air Force; F-35 CT (conventional takeoff) for the Navy; and the F-35 STOVL (short-take-off-and-vertical-landing) for the Marine Corps.