Lockheed Martin won a $41.3 million contract modification
for the design, procurement and integration of flight test instrumentation and data processing solutions for F-35 Lightning II development test aircraft to support the Tech Refresh-3 and the Follow on Modernization Block 4 mission systems configuration. The Naval Air Systems Command awarded the contract. The deal, with expected completion date of February 2021, will cater to the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and non-US Department of Defense partners. The F-35 Lightning
is a supersonic, multi-role fighter jet that represents a quantum leap in air-dominance capability, offering enhanced lethality and survivability in hostile, anti-access airspace environments. The jet is being utilized by the defense forces of the United States and 11 other nations, chiefly owing to its advanced stealth, integrated avionics, sensor fusion, superior logistics support and powerful integrated sensors capabilities.
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.