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Lockheed Martin to develop new F-35 variant for foreign customer

America’s biggest defense firm Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command for developing a new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variant for a foreign customer.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense contract announcements, Lockheed Martin has received a $49 million 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 work, which is is expected to be complete in December 2026, will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (77%); Redondo Beach, California (14%); Orlando, Florida (6%); Baltimore, Maryland (1%); Owego, New York (1%) and Samlesbury, United Kingdom (1%).


Also noted that FMS funds in the amount $49 million will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

With more than 700 F-35s now delivered to U.S. and international operators, the impact of the global fleet is far reaching – significantly enhancing the allied joint force. As the F-35 fleet grows, so too does the alliance-based force needed to deter or defeat near-peer competitors.

Today, F-35s are operating from 21 bases around the globe. More than 1,460 pilots and 11,025 maintainers have been trained and the F-35 fleet has surpassed 430,000 cumulative flight hours.

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