Farnborough, UK. 22 July 2022. The F-35 Lots 15-17 contract remains a high priority to the Department of Defense for fielding global F-35 capabilities for the United States, allies, and partners. Additionally, the Department has prioritized a commitment to supporting depot sustainment and support equipment requirements to meet both warfighter readiness and F-35 enterprise force structure beddown plans.
Today, July 18, the F-35 Lighting II Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin acknowledged that they signed a bilateral record of negotiation that documents a handshake agreement for F-35 Lots 15-17 procurement.
“We are pleased to announce that the Department and Lockheed Martin reached a handshake agreement for the next F-35 lot buy on a basis of 375 aircraft. The handshake agreement for Lots 15-17 procurement represents a milestone for the Department of Defense, the Joint Strike Fighter enterprise, and our international partners. We are looking forward to providing specific details at contract award,” said Dr. William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
“The F-35 is one of the most lethal, interoperable, and scalable capabilities in the DoD inventory. With the Lots 15-17 handshake in place, our plan is to expedite contract award and deliver additional F-35 capacity to the United States joint force and international partners,” stated U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, Program Executive Officer, F-35 Joint Program Office.
Over the past three months, the F-35 JPO and Lockheed Martin made significant progress in negotiations. The team deliberately addressed significant real-world challenges—including the COVID-19 pandemic, associated supply chain impacts and workforce disruptions, and inflation—to reach a handshake agreement. While the handshake agreement is on a basis of 375 aircraft, the final aircraft quantity may change based on any adjustments made by the U.S. Congress in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and any orders requested by international partners.
The F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin are actively pursuing contract award for Lot 15 and Lot 16 as a high priority. Additional details about the contract will be provided at contract award. The Joint Program Office also plans to exercise a contract option for Lot 17 in FY2023 after the United States FY2023 budget is finalized.