Lockheed Martin has won an almost $50-million contract to provide “engineering support” to a variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for an unspecified foreign nation, the Pentagon has said.
“Lockheed Martin Corporation [of] Fort Worth, Texas is awarded a $49,059,494 cost-plus-incentive-fee-contract that provides engineering and other related activities in support of the design and development of a Joint Strike Fighter aircraft variant tailored for an unspecified Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer,” the Department of Defense said in a release on December 27.
The DoD said more than three-quarters of the work on the contract will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas with another 14% at Redondo Beach in California. Small quantities of work will be further carried out in Orlando, Florida (6%); Baltimore, Maryland (1%); Owego, New York (1%), and Samlesbury, United Kingdom (1%), the release added.
Work on the project is scheduled to take five years and is expected to be completed in December 2026. The F-35 has three variations, all of which are single-seat jets.
The F-35A has a standard takeoff and landing mode (Air Force), whereas the F-35B has a short takeoff/vertical landing mode (Navy/Marine Corps) and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant, exclusively for the US Navy. Both the F-35B and F-35C can operate from an aircraft carrier.
The $50 million contract that Lockheed Martin won could be for some modifications on the F-35B variant, which is operated by America’s allies such as the UK and Italy besides the US Marine Corps.