Norwegian F-35 at Luke Air Force base is pictured during joint training. Lockheed Martin has just been awarded to contracts to produce more of the aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corp and provide engineering services for those built in Japan. U.S. Air Force photo
July 5 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has received contracts with a cumulative value of $74 million for advanced materials for F-35 construction for the Marine Corps and engineering services for Japan.
The contracts will apply to long-lead time parts, materials for future low-rate production of F-35s for the Marine Corps along with engineering and assembly on future jets for Japan, the Department of Defense announced on Monday.
Work for the Marine Corps F-35s will primarily be conducted in Fort Worth, Texas, El Segundo, Calif., Warton, Britain and other locations across the United States and in Japan. The assembly and engineering work for Japan will take place in Nagoya, Japan, and Baltimore, Md.
The work is projected to be completed by December 2017 for the Marine Corps and December 2018 for Japan. Obligated upon the award were $44 million in fiscal 2017 Marine Corps aircraft procurement funds and $30 million in foreign military sales funds.
Japan contracted with the U.S. government to purchase 42 F-35As. The first four were built by Lockheed in Fort Worth, Texas, and final 38 will be made in Nagoya, the first of which rolled off the assembly line last month.
The F-35 is a 5th-generation multi-role stealth fighter that is expected to replace much of the air fleet of the three services over the coming years along with purchases by foreign allies.
Three different variants are being produced, including ones capable of aircraft carrier operations for the Navy and vertical take-off and landing models for the Marine Corps. VTOL jets are capable of operating from smaller flight decks and improvised landing zones.