The US Department of Defence has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to produce and deliver the F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets. The Pentagon officially announced the deal on its website.
Batch #17 is the latest part of a large order to produce 398 fifth-generation fighter jets. The agreement was signed at the end of 2022. Batch #15 and #16 include 145 and 127 aircraft respectively.
The cost of the new deal is nearly $7.8 billion. The new contract involves production of three versions of the fighter (F-35 A/B/C) for the US Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps and foreign customers:
- US Air Force – 43 F-35A units;
- US Navy – 13 F-35C units;
- US Marine Corps – 15 F-35Bs + 6 F-35Cs;
- Finland – 8 F-35A units;
- Italy – 7 F-35As + 2 F-35Bs;
- Netherlands – 6 F-35A units;
- Poland – 6 F-35A units;
- Japan – 4 F-35As + 2 F-35Bs;
- Belgium – 4 F-35A units;
- Great Britain – 7 F-35Bs;
- Denmark – 3 F-35A units.
The contract for 398 fifth-generation fighter jets strikes the right balance between what is best for US taxpayers, military services, allies and overseas customers. US Air Force General Mike Schmidt, who is responsible for procuring the F-35 for US military services and foreign allies, said.
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