Lockheed Martin secures $ 2 billion in Pentagon contracts for F-35 fighter program

Under the contracts, the Maryland-based company will continue to provide logistics support, maintenance and training, among other services, to more than 3,000 F-35s. Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon have both stressed the importance of cutting costs in the years to come.

The majority of the work – 57% – will be done in Fort Worth, where the company employs about 18,400 workers in its aerospace division. The F-35 jets are assembled there.

“These contracts represent a reduction of more than 30% in cost per flight hour compared to the annualized contract for 2020 and illustrate the trusted partnership and commitment we share to reduce sustainment costs and increase the availability of this unparalleled 5th generation weapon system, ”Lockheed said. Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 Bridget Lauderdale program.

Lockheed Martin has reduced its cost per flight hour by 44% over the past five years, the company said, and it expects to reduce that number by another 40% over the next five years. He said the savings will be achieved by improving efficiency and reliability.

As of September 1, Lockheed Martin had trained more than 1,460 pilots and delivered more than 690 aircraft under the F-35 Lightning II program. It employs around 114,000 people worldwide.

The contracts pave the way for a longer-term performance-based logistics deal for the F-35 program, which would provide even more incentive for savings, the company said.

“Working with the F-35 Joint Program Office, we recognize the critical role the F-35 plays in supporting our customers’ global missions and the need to provide this capability at an affordable price,” said Lauderdale.

The company is one of the largest contractors working with the Defense Department, receiving $ 75 billion in Pentagon contracts in fiscal year 2020, according to a Brown University study released Monday. Defense contractors have received between one-third and one-half of the Pentagon’s $ 14 trillion in spending since the start of the war in Afghanistan.

Lockheed Martin, which made $ 6.8 billion in profits last year, isn’t just interested in defending planes here on Earth. The company expanded its foray into space travel and missile defense in December 2020 with the $ 4.4 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.

© 2021 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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