PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 6 Oct. 2013. U.S. Navy aviation leaders placed orders last week for 40 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft from the Lockheed Martin Corp. Aeronautics segment in Fort Worth, Texas, in two separate orders collectively worth $4.15 billion.
The orders, placed by officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., came in late September in the second-to-last business day of federal fiscal year 2013, and just before the government shut down on 1 Oct. over a budget fight in Congress. Federal agencies typically try to spend all their budgeted money before the end of the fiscal year.
The Navy awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) one order worth $3.4 billion for 19 F-35 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft for the U.S. Air Force; six F-35 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps; four F-35 carrier variant (CV) aircraft for the Navy; two F-35 CTOL aircraft for Norway; three F-35 CTOL aircraft for Italy; and one F-35 STOVL for the United Kingdom.
In another order, worth $742.7 million, the Navy placed an order with Lockheed Martin for two F-35 CTOL aircraft for Australia and three F-35 CTOL aircraft for Italy. Both orders involve low rate initial production (LRIP) lot VII F-35 Lightning II JSF aircraft.
In addition to the new combat aircraft, the contracts to Lockheed Martin include manufacturing support equipment, diminishing manufacturing sources management, pilot flight equipment, and concurrency changes to LRIP Lot 7 aircraft.
The F-35 is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth-generation multirole jet fighter-bombers designed to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The aircraft has three main models -- the F-35A CTOL, the F-35B STOVL, and the F-35C CV variant.
F-35 JSF development is funded by the U.S. and its close allies, the United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, The Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Turkey. The aircraft is designed to replace or augment the F-16 jet fighter, A-10 close air support aircraft, F/A-18 fighter-bomber, and AV-8B jump jet.
Lockheed Martin and the company's F-35 subcontractors will do the work in Fort Worth, Texas; El Segundo, Calif.; Warton, England; Orlando, Fla.; Nashua, N.H.; Baltimore; and Cameri, Italy. Aircraft deliveries should be made by October 2016.