US Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin agree to production of more F-35 fighter jets

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin recently agreed to manufacturing over 30 more fighter jets, Pentagon Press Secretary George E. Little announced Friday.

Thirty-two F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter jets were agreed upon as part of a Low-Rate Initial Production, according to a news release.

It is reportedly the fifth production lot of the jets, and Little said that costs will be determined once the contracts are finalized.

The executive officer of the F-35 program said that production costs are decreasing and that the negotiation process was "tough" but "important."

The agreement will reportedly cover "manufacturing support equipment, flight test instrumentation and additional mission equipment", according to a news release.

Lockheed Martin is reported to be producing 22 aircraft for the Air Force, three for the Marine Corps and seven carrier variants for the Navy.

Various countries around the world including The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Norway, Israel and Singapore are partners of the development program.

The news release also states that development started in December 2011 as part of an undefinitized contract.




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