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Lockheed Martin, U.S. government sign 2020 F-35 sustainment contract

The $1.9 billion contract will support operations and sustainment of the global F-35 aircraft fleet and efforts to improve mission readiness and reduce costs.
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Lockheed Martin F-35

Lockheed Martin announced in December 2019 that it had delivered 134 F-35 aircraft in 2019, exceeding its annual commitment. Source | Lockheed Martin

 

Lockheed Martin (Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.) has announced that it has been awarded a $1.9 billion contract by the U.S.’s government’s F-35 Joint Program Office to support operations and sustainment of the global F-35 aircraft fleet, while improving mission readiness and further reducing costs.

According to Lockheed Martin, the annual contract funds critical sustainment activities for aircraft currently in the fleet and also builds enterprise capacity to support the future fleet of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft. This reportedly includes industry sustainment experts supporting base and depot maintenance, pilot and maintainer training, and sustaining engineering across the globe. It also covers fleet-wide data analytics and supply chain management for part repair and replenishment to enhance overall supply availability for the fleet.

The F-35 Joint Program Office, together with each U.S. service, international operator and the F-35 industry team, leads F-35 sustainment and the Global Support Solution. The 2020 annualized sustainment contract will cover industry sustainment activities through Dec. 31, 2020.

Lockheed Martin reports that its sustainment cost per aircraft per year has decreased for four consecutive years, decreasing more than 35% since 2015.

The company also reports that the F-35’s reliability continues to improve, and the global fleet is averaging greater than 65% mission capable rates, with operational squadrons consistently performing near 75%.

The F-35 enterprise continues to pursue 80% mission capable rates in the near term, and to reduce the F-35 Cost Per Flight Hour to $25,000 by 2025.

To meet these goals, the enterprise is conducting supply chain competitions and building supply capacity, synchronizing spare buys, improving parts reliability and maintainability, implementing advanced analytics tools, accelerating modifications of earlier aircraft and supporting the stand-up of government-led regional warehouses and repair depots.

“The F-35 continues to deliver exceptional capabilities to the field, and this contract ensures F-35s are mission-ready to meet warfighter needs,” says Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “The joint government and industry team continues to make significant progress improving readiness rates and reducing sustainment costs. In 2020, we will continue to optimize and advance the sustainment system. We are confident F-35 sustainment costs will be equal to or less than legacy jets.”

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