The Navy is procuring spares for its F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Under the $503 million contract modification
Lockheed Martin will provide air vehicle initial spares, to include F-35 deployment spares packages, afloat spares packages, and associated consumables required to support the air vehicle delivery schedules for the Air Force, Marine Corps and non-DoD participants. The F-35 program
has had a variety of issues with spare part availability. The logistics system designed to keep the F-35 fleet flying often doesn’t, with more than a fifth of grounded planes sitting idle waiting for spare parts. According to a report
by Aviation Week & Space Technology, twenty two percent of the F-35s grounded globally are unable to fly because they are waiting on parts. This contract modification combines purchases for the Air Force ($106,5 million); Marine Corps ($91,6 million); Navy ($68,1 million); and non-DoD participants ($236,8 million). Work will be performed at various locations inside and outside the continental US. They include Fort Worth, Texas; El Segundo, California and Cheltenham, United Kingdom. Work is expected to be completed in December 2023.
The $382 billion F-35 Joint Strike fighter program may well be the largest single global defense program in history. This major multinational program is intended to produce an “affordably stealthy” multi-role fighter that will have 3 variants: the F-35A conventional version for the US Air Force et. al.; the F-35B Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing for the US Marines, British Royal Navy, et. al.; and the F-35C conventional carrier-launched version for the US Navy. The aircraft is named after Lockheed’s famous WW2 P-38 Lightning, and the Mach 2, stacked-engine English Electric (now BAE) Lightning jet. Lightning II system development partners included The USA & Britain (Tier 1), Italy and the Netherlands (Tier 2), and Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey (Tier 3), with Singapore and Israel as “Security Cooperation Partners,” and Japan as the 1st export customer.
The big question for Lockheed Martin is whether, and when, many of these partner countries will begin placing purchase orders. This updated article has expanded to feature more detail regarding the F-35 program, including contracts, sub-contracts, and notable events and reports during 2012-2013.