Lockheed Martin awarded $7.6 billion contract to produce 129 F-35 fighter jets

US Department of Defense authorizes order as part of lot 15. Most aircraft will be delivered to the Air Force, but there will also be shipments to allied countries

The US Department of Defense awarded Lockheed Martin a new contract to purchase 129 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets on August 12. Part of Lot 15, the order is capped at $7.63 billion and is expected to be completed by October 2024.

Most of the fighters will be delivered to the Air Force (USAF), which will receive 49 F-35As. The US Navy (USN) will have 15 more F-35Cs, a naval variant of the stealth jet, while the Marines will have another 10 F-35Cs in addition to three F-35Bs, with V/STOL performance.

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The US government also authorized the production of 32 F-35As and four F-35Bs for US allies in addition to 16 F-35As under the Foreign Military Sales program. The nations that will receive the aircraft were not detailed.

F-35 assembly line in Fort Worth (LM)

Assembly of the F-35s will take place at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

In the previous 14 batches, the US manufacturer has already produced more than 800 F-35 fighter jets, which has been winning several new contracts in Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Canada.

Despite this, the combat aircraft continues to present problems in its assembly, such as the grounding of hundreds of them weeks ago after possible defects in the seat ejection mechanism were found.

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