The Defense Department last week awarded Lockheed Martin a $3.5 billion contract for 31 F-35 strike fighters and associated equipment. This contract covers the F-35’s Lot 4 low-rate initial production. It is also notable because it represents the first fixed-price-incentive fee arrangement for F-35 production that requires Lockheed to share in the burden of any cost overruns. Lockheed will produce 10 Air Force F-35As, 16 Marine Corps F-35Bs four Navy F-35Cs, and one F-35B for Britain during this lot, according to Lockheed’s release. The Dutch also have an option to procure one F-35A. Assembly of these aircraft is expected to be complete in March 2013 at Lockheed’s facility in Fort Worth, Tex. The total contract value for LRIP 4 is $3.9 billion, including the previously awarded funding for long-lead-time materials. (See also DOD’s Nov. 19 list of major contracts)
The Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act on Oct. 18, proposing an additional half billion dollars for the Space Force's 2022 budget and an extra 16 C-130Js for the Air Force, while leaving the service's requests for F-35s and F-15EXs untouched.