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Department of Defense awards contract for 240 F-35 Lightning II planes
by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) May 1, 2017

Lockheed Martin has received a $1.377 billion contract for low-rate initial production of 130 Lot 12 F-35 Lightning II fighter planes. The contract includes parts, maintenance, and other services for the program, the Department of Defense announced.

In addition the Lot 12 F-35 production for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corp and other non-Department of Defense and foreign customers, the contract provides for initial production of 110 Lot 13 and Lot 14 F-35 Lighting II fighter planes for non-U.S. Department of Defense participants and foreign sales customers.

Most of the work will be done in Ft. Worth, Texas, El Segundo, Calif., and Warton, Britain., with the rest spread among Florida, New Hampsire, Maryland and Japan.

The $1.337 billion is obligated at the time the contract was awarded, with none of the funds set to expire at the end of the year.

Of the total contract, $315.5 million is set for the U.S. Air Force, $128 million is allocated for the U.S. Marine Corps, and $43.5 million for the U.S. Navy for the program. The remainder quarter of of the contract, about $364.6 million, will be directed toward military sales customers.

The contracted work is expected to be completed in December 2018. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin receives contract for F-35 Block 3F upgrade
Washington (UPI) Apr 26, 2017 - Lockheed Martin has received a $109 million contract to deliver modification kits for a Block 3F software upgrade to F-35 Lightning II

The upgrade includes aircraft under the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and international partners. It includes 567 modification kits as well as labor costs for contractors performing the installation and maintenance.

The Block 3F software was recently tested in the dropping of a GBU-12 Paveway II precision guided bomb on April 22nd. The targeting system that is part of the upgrade is designed to be more autonomous and help reduce the pilot's workload.

Two F-35A Lightning II fighter planes have been deployed to Estonia in the last week, with a support crew of 20 airmen. The planes will be based out of Amari airbase.

The operation is a long-planned training mission, according to the Pentagon. The F-35s and supporting personnel are from the 34th and 466th Fighter Squadrons. It represents the first operational deployment of the F-35 to the European theatre. Bases in Europe are expected to house the plane on a permanent basis by the early 2020's.

Israel, the first foreign nation to sign a contract for purchase of the aircraft, has received a total of five F-35's, the first two delivered in December 2016 and three more delivered in the last week. Israel was the first allied country to sign onto the program.

Second Boeing T-X trainer aircraft has successful test flight
Washington (UPI) Apr 25, 2017
The test flight of Boeing's second T-X trainer aircraft, in a partnership with Saab, took place on April 24th. The plane is marketed as a platform for advanced pilot training, with the US Air Force considered its primary customer. "The jet handled exactly like the first aircraft and the simulator, meeting all expectations," Boeing Test Pilot for Air Force Programs Matt Giese said in a p ... read more

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