The US Department of Defense is ordering a new batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from Lockheed Martin. The company is being awarded with a $23 billion contract modification
that covers the procurement of 255 aircraft. About 106 planes will be delivered to US services, including 64 F-35As for the Air Force, 26 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and 16 F-35Cs for the Navy. Another 89 JSFs will be delivered to non-DoD participants of which 71 are A variant and 18 are B variants. A number of Foreign Military Sales customers will receive the remaining 60 F-35s
in their A version. This modification includes low rate initial production lot 12 for US services and LRIP 12, 13 and 14 for international partner countries and FMS customers. Lots 12 and 13 jets are set to be delivered in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The definitization of the final LRIP 14 contract is expected to take place in 2020, with deliveries expected for 2022. Work will be performed at multiple locations worldwide. They include, but are not limited to, Fort Worth, Texas; San Diego, California; Nagoya, Japan and Warton United Kingdom. Performance of the contract is expected to be completed in March 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.