Aug. 14 (UPI) — Lockheed Martin has received a $24.1 million modification to an existing contract for F-35 Lightning II logistics services for U.S. and foreign military sales customers, the Department of Defense announced on Friday.
The contract will apply toward the standing up of depots and systems for the aircraft’s canopy and avionics. It will supply the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, non-Pentagon participants and foreign military sales participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is projected to be finished in August 2019.
The F-35 is a 5th-generation multi-role stealth fighter that is is being acquired by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps to supplant much of their air fleets over the next several decades. Partner nations such as Japan, Britain, Australia and others are participating in the program, with some aircraft already delivered.
There are three different variants for the U.S., along with modified models for foreign military sales. Thousands of the aircraft are expected to be purchased by the U.S. military and allied nations.
The program has seen extensive delays and cost-overruns during its history, with software issues still leaving some of the plane’s systems not fully operational.
With an expected cost of more than $1.5 trillion over the life of the program, it is the most expensive weapons program in U.S. history.