Lockheed Martin on Monday received a $743 million modification to the low-rate initial production lot nine batch of F-35s, providing additional funding for “diminishing manufacturing and material shortages redesign and development,” the Pentagon announced. Under the contract, 27.9 percent or $207.4 million goes toward US Air Force aircraft. The contract also establishes not to exceed prices for one F-35A and one F-35B for a non-US country, in addition to funding for manufacturing, post production concurrency changes, and country unique requirements. The Pentagon in November 2015 awarded the LRIP nine contract, which covered 41 F-35As, 12 F-35Bs, and two F-35Cs. The work under this contracted is expected to be completed by December 2019.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.