June 29 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has received a $257.8 million modification to an existing contract to support low-rate production and acquisition of equipment for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday.
The contract modification is for procurement of 129 alternate mission equipment sets, 468 sets of pilot flight equipment, and 94 sets of red gear engine inlet plugs for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and allied foreign participants in support of F-35 production.
Work will be conducted in Inglewood, Calif., White Plains, N.Y., and other locations across the United States and has an estimated completion date of June 2020. Fiscal 2017 funds from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, allied partners and foreign military sales in the amount of $257.8 million have been obligated.
Alternate mission equipment refers to any add-on systems to the standard airframe, such as external fuel tanks, weapons pylons, sensor pods or other equipment. The F-35 is designed to operate primarily using its internal weapons bays to maintain stealth capabilities against radar, but is capable of mounting external ordnance and other systems.
Red gear is a term for plugs and covers used to protect engine inlets in order to prevent debris, birds and other threats from building up inside the turbine.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation multi-role stealth fighter that is anticipated to replace much of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter fleets. It is also being exported to approved allies across the world.