A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, flies over Afghanistan in 2018. Photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/U.S. Air Force
Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has been awarded $184.5 million repair capabilities on a production lot of F-35 aircraft operated by the Pentagon and other non-Department of Defense program participants.
The contract, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, tasks Lockheed with establishing organic depot level repair capabilities for the F-35 aircraft under a previously awarded low-rate initial production Lot 11 contract.
The work, to support the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and non-DoD participants, is expected to be complete by March 2023. Half of the work will be done in Fort Worth, Texas, where Lockheed is headquartered, with the rest at locations across the United States.
Among the aircraft systems and parts the company will be working on are common components, conventional controls, surfaces and edges, electrical/mechanical activation, firewall shutoff valve, radar, wing flap actuator system, hydraulic power generation system, arresting gear, standby flight display, fuel system fan, alternating current contractor module and rudder pedals, according to a Pentagon press release.
The F-35 aircraft uses advanced sensors "packaged within a supersonic, long-range, highly maneuverable fighter," according to Lockheed Martin, which allows the stealthy fifth generation aircraft to serve simultaneously in attack and intelligence-gathering roles.
Last month, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin reached a $34 billion deal for 478 F-35s as the price per aircraft dropped.
A Lockheed Martin statement noted the deal lowered the cost of an F-35-A, the U.S. Army's variant of the aircraft, below $80 million, in Lot 13 and Lot 14, representing a 12.8 percent reduction from Lot 11 costs, and an average of 12.7 percent savings across all of the combat aircraft's variants from Lots 11 to 14.