The U.S. Department of Defense awarded $15.04 million to Lockheed Martin Aerospace to perform “program management, non-recurring unique requirements, and training” to integrate the government of Canada into the F-35 program. The amount is apparently half the cost of incorporating Canada into the program, as the Canadian Department of National Defense Cooperative is funding a comparable total.
Headed by Lockheed, the F-35 program is the largest U.S. defense program and involves hundreds of system and component suppliers from the U.S. and 18 other participating nations.
With more than 1,000 F-35 aircraft built to-date, the program the aircraft is planned to be a core element of the U.S., NATO, and U.S.-allied air power and to operate until 2070.
In 2022 Canada agreed to purchase 88 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike-Fighter aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force, at a reported cost of $15 billion, following a long commitment to the Boeing F/A-18 fighter. Canada thus joined the F-35 program, with deliveries to begin in 2025.
The F-35A is one three variants of the aircraft, for conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) by the U.S. Air Force and other air forces. Other variants are in use by the U.S. Marine Corps (F-35B, for short takeoff and landing) and U.S. Navy (F-35C, the carrier-based variant for catapult-assisted takeoff and arrested recovery.)
DoD stated that the integration work will proceed under the “cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract” and will be completed by January 2027.