Wings Magazine

Deal reached to build 32 F-35s as part of LRIP 5

Dec. 3, 2012, Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have reached an agreement in principle to manufacture 32 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters as part of Low-Rate Initial Production 5 (LRIP-5).

December 3, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The contract will also fund manufacturing-support equipment, flight test instrumentation and ancillary mission equipment.

“It’s been a long journey, but I’m pleased we’ve achieved an agreement that is beneficial to the government and Lockheed Martin,” said Vice Admiral Dave Venlet, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “Production costs are decreasing and I appreciate everyone’s commitment to this important negotiation process.  The LRIP-5 agreement will end the year on a positive note and sets the table for the program to move forward with improving business timelines for the greater good of all the nations partnered with us.”

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will produce 22 F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variants for the U.S. Air Force, three F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variants for the U.S. Marine Corps and seven F-35C carrier variants (CV) for the U.S. Navy. Aircraft production was started in December 2011 under a previously authorized undefinitized contract action.

“We remain committed to working with our government and international customers, and we continue to see excellent production performance,” said Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program General Manager. “Our top priority is to deliver the F-35’s 5th generation capability to our U.S. and partner national warfighters.”


The LRIP 5 aircraft will join 63 F-35s contracted under LRIPs 1-4. To date, 29 LRIP aircraft along with 19 previously built System Development and Demonstration aircraft have been delivered from Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The most recent deliveries took place in November when three STOVL aircraft were delivered to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. The U.S. and eight partner nations plan to acquire more than 3,100 F-35 fighters. Israel and Japan have also announced plans to purchase the jet under Foreign Military Sales agreements.


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