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Lockheed awarded contract for integration of F-35, SDB-II

By James LaPorta
Lockheed awarded contract for integration of F-35, SDB-II
A F-35 Lightning II from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, takes off from the Gowen Field runway Oct. 16, 2017, in Boise, Idaho. Photo by Airman 1st Class Mercedee Schwartz/U.S. Air National Guard

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Pentagon officials announced Thursday that Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has been awarded a contract for weapons technology and development support on the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter and small-diameter bomb II for the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force.

The deal is estimated to be worth more than $34.6 million and is classified as a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract -- where Lockheed Martin will be reimbursed by the U.S. government on a negotiated fee that is fixed before the contract is set in stone.

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Defense Department officials are enabling Lockheed to develop "weapons capabilities technology maturation and risk reduction pre-engineering, manufacturing and development activities," according to a Pentagon statement.

In July, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $5.6 billion contract modification to an existing contract for Lot 11 low-rate acquisition of the F-35 Lightning II fighter.

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That contract called for the procurement needs of the the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, allied nations and customers under the foreign military sales program, which provides for 74 Fiscal 2017 aircraft, including 48 F-35As for the Air Force, 19 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps, and eight F-35Cs for the Navy and Marine Corps.

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Raytheon announced last month that it has already started integrating the SDB-II system on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-15E aircraft.

Work on Thursday's contract announcement will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in July 2018, according to Pentagon officials.

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Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force in the amount of $6 million are being obligated at the time of award, all of which, the Pentagon said, will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

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