Agreement Reached on Lowest-Priced F-35s in Program History
ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin reached an agreement in principle on the lowest priced F-35 Lightning II aircraft to date marking the first time the price for an F-35A is below $100 million, the F-35 Joint Program Office said in a Feb. 3 release.
Known as Low-Rate Initial Production Lot 10 (LRIP-10), the contract is for 90 stealth fighter aircraft and represents more than a 60 percent price reduction for the F-35A variant since the LRIP-1 contract. The F-35B and F-35C variants price also were substantially reduced. In total the Lot 10 contract represents a $728 million reduction when compared to Lot 9.
“The LRIP-10 contract is a good and fair deal for the taxpayers, the U.S. government, allies and industry,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “We continue to work with industry to drive costs out of the program.”
The F-35A variant comprises approximately 85 percent of the program of record. The F-35A unit price in LRIP-10, including aircraft, engine and fees, is roughly 7 percent lower than the LRIP-9 contract. Over the past two procurement lots (LRIP-9 and 10-), the price of the F-35A has dropped 12 percent.
“With initiatives like Blueprint for Affordability and the natural learning curve, we are substantially bringing the cost of each aircraft down and at the same time the F-35 program will continue to add thousands of additional jobs to the U.S. economy as we increase production year over year,” said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin F-35 vice president and general manager.
In addition to procuring the air vehicles, this contract funds manufacturing-support equipment and ancillary mission equipment. Deliveries of 90 aircraft begin in early 2018.
To date, more than 200 operational F-35s are operated by eight different nations including Australia, Italy, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States. In total, the F-35 program plans to produce more than 3,000 aircraft with approximately 600 of those aircraft presently planned to be procured by international allies.