The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Ellen Lord, and the F-35 Program Executive Officer, Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, held a press briefing to provide an update on the F-35 program. They announced that the U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have reached an agreement regarding the production and delivery of F-35 aircraft for lots 12 to 14. The contract includes the delivery of 478 F-35 aircraft, which will support the U.S. military services, partner nations, and foreign military sales customers. The agreement represents the continued commitment to reduce F-35 costs, incentivize industry, and deliver advanced capabilities to the military at the best value to taxpayers. One notable achievement is that the F-35 Joint Program Office will award a significant F-35 aircraft procurement in the same fiscal year as the congressional appropriation year for the first time. The URF cost per aircraft target of $80 million for a U.S. Air Force F-35A price will be reached one lot earlier than planned, which is a significant milestone for the department. Although there are still opportunities for improvement on the quality, the on-time delivery rate has significantly improved to 96%. The F-35 program remains a top priority for the department, and it will maintain a competitive advantage with its unmatched fifth-generation capabilities. The program aims to improve its sustainment capabilities to ensure that the aircraft are ready and capable. The DOD combat-coded operational unit mission capability performance has increased from 55% in October 2018 to 73% in September 2019. The department is committed to delivering F-35 combat capability anywhere in the world, and the F-35 is the world’s most advanced and lethal aircraft ever developed.
The U.S. government has given a big contract to a company called Lockheed Martin to build 126 planes called F-35s. These planes will be used by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy. The contract is worth $7.8 billion and the planes are expected to be finished by August 2026. This is part of a bigger deal made last year where the U.S. government agreed to buy 375 F-35 planes for $30 billion over three years. Many news agency published this news on title “Pentagon awards $7.8 billion F-35 contract to Lockheed Martin”
Lockheed Martin is an American multinational aerospace, defense, security, and technology company. Founded in 1995 through a merger of Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta, it has since grown to become one of the largest companies in the world in terms of revenue and employees.
Every F-35 is comprised of parts manufactured by thousands of talented and committed workers across the U.S. and the world. Learn how the F-35 is powering job creation at the link below.
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) July 6, 2021
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the company employs over 110,000 people worldwide, with operations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Lockheed Martin is primarily focused on the development, manufacturing, and sale of advanced technology products and services, with a significant portion of its business coming from government contracts.
The company’s product line includes military aircraft, such as the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor; missile defense systems, such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3); and spacecraft and satellites, such as the Orion spacecraft and GPS III satellite. Lockheed Martin also provides cybersecurity solutions and IT services, as well as energy solutions through its subsidiary, Lockheed Martin Energy.
One of the company’s most significant products is the F-35 Lightning II, a fifth-generation multirole fighter jet that is considered the most advanced aircraft in the world. The F-35 program has been controversial due to its high cost and development delays, but it remains a crucial component of the U.S. military’s air power.
Lockheed Martin has a long history of working with the U.S. government, and it is one of the top contractors for the Department of Defense. In 2020, the company received $73.8 billion in revenue, with nearly 70% of that revenue coming from government contracts. The company has also been recognized for its commitment to sustainability, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency in its operations.
Despite its significant contributions to the aerospace and defense industries, Lockheed Martin has faced criticism from some groups over its role in the development of weapons systems and the potential impact on global security. However, the company remains committed to its mission of providing advanced technology solutions to its customers, while also promoting ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.
The F-35 program
The F-35 program, the world’s most advanced and lethal aircraft development initiative, has reached a new milestone with the announcement of the $34 billion agreement between the U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin for the production and delivery of lots 12 to 14. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord, and F-35 program executive officer Lt. Gen. Eric Fick provided an update on the F-35 program in the Pentagon Briefing Room, highlighting the progress made in achieving timely deliveries, driving costs down and quality up.
The agreement includes the delivery of 478 F-35 aircraft, 149 for lot 12, 160 for lot 13 and 169 for lot 14, in support of U.S. military services, partner nations and foreign military sales customers. It represents the continued commitment of the program to reduce costs aggressively, incentivize industry to meet required performance, and deliver advanced capabilities to warfighters at the best value to taxpayers.
One of the most notable achievements of the contract is reaching a unit recurring flyaway, URF, cost per aircraft target of $80 million for a U.S. Air Force F-35A price by lot 13, one lot earlier than planned, which is a significant milestone for the department. The F-35 enterprise will also continue to save with an overall estimated 12.7% savings across all three variants from lot 11 to 14.
While there have been delays in integrating the F-35 into the Joint Simulation Environment test infrastructure, Under Secretary Lord reiterated her full faith and confidence in the program’s ability to deliver F-35 combat capability anywhere in the world. As of last month, over 440 aircraft have been delivered at 17 bases worldwide, with over 850 pilots and 8,200 maintainers.
The program is not without its challenges, and there are still significant opportunities for improvement in quality, particularly in sustainment capabilities. However, with the progress made so far, the F-35 program is well on its way to maintaining a competitive advantage, with its unique and unmatched fifth-generation capabilities, for the U.S. and its partners.
News source & Credit : U.S. Department of Defense