Lockheed Martin has finalized a contract with the U.S government’s F-35 Joint Program Office for as many as 398 additional F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. Valued at up to $30 billion, the agreement includes aircraft for the U.S. military, international partners and foreign military sales. The F-35s produced for the contract will be the first outfitted with the “Technical Refresh-3 (TR-3)” hardware update, which features a new integrated core processor, panoramic cockpit display and an improved memory unit.
“This contract strikes the right balance between what’s best for the U.S. taxpayers, military services, allies and our foreign military sales customers,” said F-35 Joint Program Office program executive officer Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt. “The F-35 is the world’s premier multi-mission, 5th-generation weapon system, and the modernized Block 4 capabilities these new aircraft will bring to bear strengthens not just capability, but interoperability with our allies and partners across land, sea, air and cyber domains.”
Lockheed Martin reports that it delivered 141 F-35s in 2022, although any further deliveries have been halted while the Dec. 15 landing accident involving a company aircraft at Texas’ Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth is investigated. The F-35 fleet, now at 894 aircraft, has logged over 602,000 flight hours to date. More than 1,870 pilots and 13,500 maintainers trained for the model.