Lockheed Martin Delivered 131 F-35 Lightning II Fighter Jets In 2019

Lockheed Martin Delivered 131 F-35 Lightning II Fighter Jets In 2019
An F-35 Lightning II is parked prior to its final flight out of Edwards Air Force Base, California (U.S. Air Force photo by Giancarlo Casem)

According to the Reuters report, Lockheed Martin Corp has reached its 2019 target to deliver 131 F-35 fighter jets to the United States and its allies, as the defense contractor built 47% more jets this year.

The world’s largest defense contractor delivered a total of 134 of the stealthy jets this year and aims to deliver 141 F-35s in 2020.

The most common variation of the jet, the F-35A, now costs $77.9 million, beating its goal of lowering the price to below $80 million a year earlier than expected.

The F-35 program, which makes up about 25% of Lockheed’s annual revenue, has long aimed at expanding the fleet to more than 3,000 jets and bringing the unit price of the F-35A below $80 million through efficiencies gained by bulk orders.

Earlier this year, Pentagon announced pricing details for its agreement with Lockheed that lowers the cost of the F-35 jets it plans to purchase through 2022 by 12.7%, which may encourage other nations to buy the warplane.

In 2019, international deliveries jumped 43% to 30 jets for international partner nations.

More U.S. allies have been eyeing a purchase of the stealthy jet including Finland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

The F-35 comes in three configurations: the A-model for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. allies, a F-35 B-model which can handle short takeoffs and vertical landings and carrier-variant F-35C jets for the U.S. Navy.

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