Lockheed Martin
F-35 assembly at Lockheed, Ft. Worth, Tex.

Lockheed to Start New F-35 Spares Production

May 16, 2022
A U.S. Navy contract worth almost $400 million signals Lockheed Martin to begin production of spare parts for the next series of F-35 fighters.

Lockheed Martin has a new, $397.7 million contract from the U.S. Navy exercising options to begin production of initial spare parts for Lot 16 deliveries of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. In addition to exercising the Lot 16 options, the contract clears Lockheed to proceed with procurement for the global spares pool and afloat spares package/deployment spares packages, for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and foreign military sales customers, and non-U.S. Dept. of Defense participants.

According to the Dept. of Defense contract announcement, work will be performed at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Tex., and will be completed by December 2024.

The F-35 is a series of three, Stealth-enabled single-engine aircraft designed for ground attack and combat, and deployed by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps, and the defense forces of multiple allied nations. The program has been under steady scrutiny and criticism for the high cost of individual aircraft, and Lockheed and other contractors have made steady efforts to contain the costs for future deliveries.

Nearly 800 of the aircraft have been built to date.

Production for Lot 16 was due to begin during 2021 for a total of 157 aircraft, though inflation estimates and COVID-19 mitigation costs have prolonged negotiations toward final production figures and costs, according to comments earlier this year by Lockheed CEO James D. Taiclet.

Currently, Lockheed is scheduled to deliver 151-153 of the aircraft in 2022, for the U.S. Dept. of Defense and foreign program participants. The Pentagon’s acquisition plans for 2023 and beyond reportedly are under new scrutiny, however, with recent reports indicating that DoD may cut its planned purchases from 94 to 61 aircraft when the FY 2023 budget is finalized.

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