Lockheed Martin will deliver 57 F-35 airframes for $6.1 billion in the ninth lot of low-rate initial production under the terms of a contract signed only after a 15-month negotiating process that failed to achieve a second deal the next lot of aircraft.
The LRIP 9 price falls by 3.7% on a weighted average from the previous lot of production awarded in December 2014, according to the F-35 joint programme office (JPO).
The $6.1 billion covers the structure and missions systems of the F-35 but excludes the cost of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, which were agreed under a separate contract awarded in April. The Department of Defense awarded P&W a $1.4 billion deal for 66 engines, which includes several spares.
The JPO opened negotiations with Lockheed 15 months ago with the intention of signing separate deals for LRIP 9 and LRIP 10, but the final agreement stopped short of that objective.
“The LRIP 9 contract represents a fair and reasonable deal for the US Government, the international partnership and industry,” Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, F-35 programme executive officer, says in a statement.
Lockheed will deliver 42 F-35As, 13 F-35Bs and two F-35Cs in LRIP 9, which are set to begin in this fiscal year. The aircraft will add to 209 F-35s already purchased in the first eight lots of low-rate initial production.