The two parties announced their agreement on Monday, amid expectations that the cost of the most popular version of the aircraft would rise due to inflation and slower production. The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT.N) agreed to build about 375 F-35 fighter jets over three years.
As for the importance of these jets, given that the F-35 improves national security, builds international alliances, and fuels economic growth, this is a win-win situation for both sides.
The F-35 fighter jet also gives pilots the crucial edge against any foe, enabling them to complete their mission and return home safely. It is the most lethal, resilient, and linked fighter jet in the world.
It provides an asymmetric edge across the multi-domain spectrum, giving it a decisive advantage in the battlespace. Pilots of the F-35 are able to operate in any environment and against any danger thanks to its transformative capabilities.
It is, quite simply, the most technologically advanced multi-role fighter in existence, offering unparalleled lethality, survivability, and connection.
William LaPlante, the Pentagon’s top weapons purchaser, said that they are pleased to announce that the Department and Lockheed Martin struck a handshake agreement for the next F-35 lot procurement on a basis of 375 aircraft.
Earlier on Monday, it was claimed that the $30 billion deal was almost finalised.
The agreement was reached over a handshake as the aviation community gathered for the return of the Farnborough Airshow, hoping to project confidence in the wake of COVID-19’s devastation. However, the only records that are likely to be broken at the event in southeast England are those of oppressive heat.
The “handshake” agreement is just the beginning of a process that will likely take weeks or even months to lock down the contract’s pricing and award. Therefore, it is still unknown how much the contract will ultimately be worth and how much each jet model would cost.
The most popular model is the F-35A, which takes off and lands normally from runways.
When it rolled off the assembly line in 2007, the first aircraft of that version cost $221 million. Since then, production volumes and technological advancements have grown, allowing the stealthy fifth-generation fighter’s price to drop to $79 million per piece as it has attracted more purchasers.
The Pentagon warned that depending on the adjustments made by the U.S. Congress in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and any orders sought by overseas partners, the agreement’s final aircraft count may change or differ accommodatingly.
Despite persistent COVID-19 consequences and reduced F-35 numbers, the F-35 enterprise was able to deliver a cost per jet lower than record-breaking inflation trends, Lockheed stated in a statement.
Inflation increased to a 9.1 percent annual rate in June, according to data released last week by the United States.
Lockheed started to warn that the epidemic would cause the price of the plane to increase if economies of scale shrank and supply lines faltered.
In 2019, the Pentagon agreed to a three-year block buy for 478 F-35 fighter jets, allowing Lockheed to purchase more parts in bulk and cut costs by around 8%, to $34 billion, as opposed to negotiating annual contracts.
The F-35 has recently won many jet fighter competitions, including those in Germany, Finland, and Switzerland. Customers could come from Greece and the Czech Republic.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, Program Executive Officer at the F-35 Joint Program Office said that the F-35 is one heavy workforce. Being interoperable, and has remarkable capabilities in the DoD inventory.