Lockheed Martin delivers 134 F-35 aircraft in 2019
F-35. Source | Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin (Ft. Worth, Texas, U.S.) announced on Dec. 30 that it had delivered its 134th F-35 aircraft for 2019, exceeding the joint government and industry 2019 delivery goal of 131 aircraft.
The company says that 134 deliveries represents a 47% increase from 2018 and nearly a 200% production increase from 2016. In 2020, Lockheed Martin plans to deliver 141 F-35s and says it is prepared to increase production volume year-over-year to hit peak production in 2023.
The 134th aircraft is a short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) model for the United States Marine Corps. In 2019, Lockheed Martin reports that deliveries included 81 F-35s for the United States, 30 for international partner nations and 23 for foreign military sales customers.
“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,” says 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 Lockheed Martin, the current price of an F-35A is $77.9 million, meeting the $80 million goal a year earlier than planned. The global F-35 fleet, which includes more than 490 aircraft operating from 21 bases around the globe, is reported to average greater than 65% mission capable rates, with operational squadrons consistently performing near 75%. Lockheed Martin's sustainment cost per aircraft per year has decreased for four consecutive years, and more than 35% since 2015. As of Dec. 30, 2019, 975 pilots and 8,585 maintainers are trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 240,000 cumulative flight hours.
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