Jeff Babione: Lockheed Can Handle F-35 Block Buy in FY 2017

F-35Lockheed Martin has said it maintains the capability to produce F-35 fighter jets to fulfill a potential block buy from the program’s international partners in fiscal year 2017, Defense News reported Thursday.

Jeff Babione, Lockheed’s F-35 program manager, said the Joint Program Office must finalize its decision within the next six months so that Lockheed will be able to prepare the supply chain, Lara Seligman reports.

“It takes about two years to order the parts for any given lot, you really need about two, two and a half years to make sure the supply chain is ready for that,” Babione told the Air Force Association’s air warfare symposium in Orlando, Florida.

“For a 2018 buy we probably have time, for 2017 we probably need to do that in the next six months,” he added.

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