Lockheed Beats F-35 Delivery Goals


Lockheed Martin delivered 47 percent more F-35 fighters this year than last, beating its goal for delivering 131 F-35 fighters in by three aircraft. That number is double its production from 2016. The fleet size is now 490 aircraft, with another 141 planned to be active by the end of 2020.

“This achievement is a testament to the readiness of the full F-35 enterprise to ramp to full-rate production and we continue to focus on improving on-time deliveries across the entire weapons system,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “We have met our annual delivery targets three years in a row and continue to increase production rates, improve efficiencies and reduce costs. The F-35 is the most capable fighter jet in the world, and we’re now delivering the 5th Generation weapon system at a cost equal to or lower than a less capable 4th Generation legacy aircraft.”

According to the company, “process efficiencies, production automation, facility and tooling upgrades, [and] supply chain initiatives” have helped it reduce the cost of each F-35, which is now $77.9 million. Lockheed Martin claims that “the global fleet [is] averaging greater than 65% mission capable rates, and operational squadrons consistently performing near 75%.”

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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