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.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.