Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. has been awarded a $69 million contract for programming upgrades for operational F-35 Lightning II, as well as associated training aircraft.
The contract, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, calls for the "design, development, documentation, integration and test of upgrades to the U.S. Reprogramming Laboratory to execute the Mission Data programming and reprogramming mission of the plane's digital channelized receiver/technique generator and tuner insertion program (DTIP), as well as non-DTIP configurations."
The contract involves modifications to digital equipment in operational aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as training aircraft within the continental United States.
Work will be performed at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as in Baltimore, Md., and at Elgin AFB in Florida.
The F-35 was first declared ready for deployment, by the U.S. Marine Corps, in 2015. The Israeli Air Force first used it in combat, in 2018. The United States plans to buy 2,663 F-35s, which will provide the bulk of the future tactical air power of the U.S. military. The plane has also been sold to numerous other countries, as well.
The Pentagon has obligated $20 million from Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fiscal 2018 funds, as the contract combines purchases for all three branches of the U.S. military.
Work on the contract is expected to complete by May 2021.