A. Posey/U.S. Air Force
Airmen prepare an F-35A jet for maintenance at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Lockheed Draws Near-Term F-35 Support Funds

Dec. 19, 2023
The U.S. Dept. of Defense awarded $663 million for logistics support, supply-chain management, and various other services for the Joint Strike Fighter program during the first quarter of 2024.

Lockheed Martin was awarded $663.13 million by the U.S. Dept. of Defense for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program, to provide additional logistics support, reliability and maintainability services, supply chain management, pilot training, maintainer training, and training system sustainment.

The work will be performed for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy over the first quarter of 2024, and is expected to be completed in March 2024.

F-35 aircraft supplied through DoD’s Foreign Military Sales and non-participants also will be covered by the services to be provided.

Funding will be drawn from a previously approved “cost-plus-incentive-fee, fixed-price-incentive, cost reimbursable” contract.

The F-35 is a series of single-engine, Stealth-enabled aircraft deployed for ground attack and combat, and available in three variants. It is by far the largest and most expensive U.S. defense program, with Lockheed subject to steady scrutiny for cost overruns and the readiness of aircraft for service.

The funding extension follows a recent report by Defense News that the F-35 program faces “significant challenges” in the course of two ongoing upgrades to future weapons and performance upgrades, as revealed by the Pentagon’s F-35 program executive officer.

Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt gave written testimony to the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces that the Block 4 upgrade to the F-35 weapons systems has problems related to hardware design, as well as concerns about the timeline for integrating the related system software, the source reported.

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