Lockheed Martin was awarded $4.7 billion to body 78 new F-35 fifth-generation action aircraft.
Lockheed Martin was awarded a $4.7 billion arrangement modification for 78 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, according to a March 31 arrangement advertisement by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
The arrangement includes 48 accepted ascent and landing F-35As for the US Air Force, 14 abbreviate abandonment and vertical landing F-35Bs for the Marine Corps, and 16 carrier-borne F-35C stealth fighters.
Work is accepted to be complete by March 2023, according to the DoD statement.
In a abstracted arrangement aftermost month, Lockheed Martin was additionally awarded a $202 actor accord to “develop, sustain and aftermath software builds as able-bodied as carryout adorning flight tests in abutment of the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.”
Lockheed Martin handed over 134 F-35s in 2019, 91 aircraft in 2018, and 66 in 2017. Aftermost year, 81 F-35s were delivered to the U.S. armed forces, 30 to all-embracing accomplice nations, and 23 to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. This included 102 F-35As, 25 F-35Bs, and seven F-35Cs.
The 500th production-standard F-35 was delivered by Lockheed Martin and the Joint Affairs Office (JPO) in March of this year.
The F-35 analysis flight affairs in the United States has been briefly shut bottomward due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accumulation of the aircraft itself, however, has reportedly not been affected. The bloom crisis did affect F-35 accumulation assembly accessories in Italy and Japan. The plants had to briefly shut bottomward in aboriginal March but reopened after that month.
In the case of Japan, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ F-35 Final Accumulation and Check Out (FACO) ability in Nagoya will accumulate a absolute of 38 F-35As. As I acclaimed previously:
Japan called the F-35A as its next-generation fighter aircraft in December 2011 and placed an antecedent adjustment for 42 jets. In December 2018, the Japanese government ordered an added 63 F-35As, the aircraft’s accepted abandonment and landing variant, and 42 F-35Bs, the U.S. Marine Corps’ abbreviate abandonment and vertical landing (STOVL) alternative of the aircraft.
Other air armament in Asia meanwhile are additionally active architecture up their F-35 fleets.
The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) declared antecedent operating adequacy (IOC) for its aboriginal accumulation of F-35As in December 2019. “South Korea and the United States assured an acceding for 40 F-35As beneath the U.S. Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) affairs in 2014,” I appear elsewhere. “All 40 aircraft are accepted to be delivered to the ROKAF by 2022 beneath the alleged F-X3 program.”
Furthermore, the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAFs) agile of 72 F-35As is accepted to ability abounding operating adequacy (FOC) by 2023 with antecedent operating adequacy (IOC) set for December 2020. The RAAF took commitment of is aboriginal two F-35As in December 2018 with a absolute of 33 fighter aircraft accepted to be delivered to the account by the end of this year.
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