US contracts Lockheed Martin for 78 more F-35s

Lockheed Martin has been contracted to produce 78 more F-35s for the US Air Force (USAF), US Marine Corps (USMC) and US Navy, in a contract modification worth roughly US$4.7bn.

The modification to the previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract will see the company produce 48 more conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A Lightning IIs for the USAF, 14 additional short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs for the USMC and 16 carrier-variant F-35Cs for the US Navy.

F-35A [USAF/SA Alexander Cook] #1
A Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II operated by the USAF's F-35 Demo Team practices for an air display at Hill AFB, Utah, on January 10. USAF/SA Alexander Cook

Work will be performed at facilities across and outside the continental US, with most of the contract being fulfilled in Fort Worth, Texas. Production of these aircraft under the modification is expected to be completed by March 2023. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is leading the contracting activity.