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The U.S. Military Just Inked a Massive New F-35 Deal
The Block 4 software suite for the F-35 includes 53 improvements to advanced air- and ground-based threats. None of the changes will affect the exterior of the jet.
The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative agreement on the next lot of F-35s, with options for a multi-year buy worth about $34 billion for 478 aircraft total, including foreign partners and customers.
As reported by Air Force Magazine , the agreement covers production Lot 12, with options for Lots 13 and 14. The first lot will include 157 aircraft, according to a Pentagon statement. The “framework” of the deal would lower the cost of an F-35A to $80 million in Lot 13, a year earlier than initially planned. Under Lot 11, the aircraft cost $89.2 million each.
“This is a historic milestone for the F-35 enterprise, and marks the largest procurement in the history of the department,” Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Ellen Lord said in a statement.