An agreement between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Defense Department for the eighth F-35 batch includes a provision to deliver some of the fighters to U.S. partner nations, Defense News reported Monday.
Aaron Mehta writes Lockheed is scheduled to begin low-rate initial production of 43 additional F-35s for U.S. and allied forces in 2016.
Israel, Norway and Italy will receive two fighters each, while Japan and the U.K. will get four jets each under the deal, according to the report.
“Once production of LRIP 8 aircraft is completed, more than 200 F-35s will be in operation by eight nations,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the F-35 Joint Program Office, according to Mehta’s article.
The transaction is also intended to lower the aircraft’s average unit cost by as much as 3.6 percent.
Lockheed says it has built and delivered 115 F-35s as of Oct. 24.