March 20 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. received a $264.6 million contract modification in support of South Korea's F-35 Lightning II program, the Defense Department announced.
The contract, announced on Tuesday, calls for operation and technical services, with work performed in the company's Fort Worth, Texas, facility and completed by June 2020.
South Korea's first two F-35s are expected to be delivered to the Republic of Korea Air Force at its Chongju Air Base by the end of March, and are expected to be deployed by May.
Ten will be delivered to the ROKAF by the end of 2019, part of a fleet of 40 F-35s ordered. All are expected to be delivered, at a total cost of $6.8 billion, by the end of 2021.
"The South's war maniacs are indulging in a spending spree to buy F-35A Stealth jet fighters. This stems from an adventurous plot to stage a pre-emptive strike against us that goes along with U.S. attempts to start a war," the ruling Worker's Party news outlet, Rodong Sinmun, said.
South Korean pilots have been training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona since the spring of 2018.