F-35 Lightning: The Joint Strike Fighter Program
January 20/17: Speaking of costs, the price of the F-35 looks set to take a tumble, as the US DoD and Lockheed Martin come close to an agreement on a new contract for the Joint Strike Fighter . While talks on the warplane’s tenth batch are still ongoing, sources close to discussions say the fighter will drop below its current $100 million per-plane price tag for the first time. Believed to be in the range of $9 billion, an official announcement on the 90-plane deal is expected to come at the end of the month.
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.
The F-35 Lightning II Fighter Family
F-35 Family Variants: Door A, B, or C?
F-35s: Key Features
Pimp My Ride: Weapons & Accessories
The F-35 Family: Controversies and Competitions
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The Program
F-35 JSF: Programs by Country
Home Base: The American Program
Australia (Tier 3)
Britain (Tier 1)
Canada (Tier 3)
Denmark (Tier 3)
Italy (Tier 2)
The Netherlands (Tier 2)
Norway (Tier 3)
Turkey (Tier 3)
Israel (Security Cooperation Partner)
Singapore (Security Cooperation Partner)
Exports: Beyond the Program Team
Future Sales Opportunities
F-35 Contracts & Decisions
FY 2013 – 2017
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