FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Defense has given Lockheed Martin a modification contract for fourth lot, low-rate initial production of F-35 fighters.
Under the full funding contract Lockheed will manufacture 10 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters in the conventional takeoff and landing variants for the U.S. Air Force, 16 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants for the U.S. Marine Corps, four carrier variants for the Navy and one F-35C carrier variant for the British navy.
The contract also funds manufacturing-support equipment, flight test instrumentation and ancillary mission equipment.
Including the long-lead funding previously received, the total contract value for LRIP 4 is $3.9 billion.
"We are focused on getting fifth-generation fighter capability into the hands of U.S. and allied pilots as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible," said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager.
The LRIP 4 order is in addition to 31 F-35s contracted under LRIPs 1-3, three of which already have exited Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth, Texas, factory. Nineteen test aircraft also have rolled out.
The United States and eight nations involved in the project plan to acquire more than 3,100 F-35 fighters and Israel recently announced plans to purchase the jet.