Ellen Lord, undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Defense Department, has said DoD and Lockheed Martin have accelerated efforts to finalize the 12th contract to procure at least 250 F-35 fighter aircraft, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
“We are picking up the pace with Lot 12 and we plan to do the same with Lot 13,“ Lord told the publication in an interview.
Updates on lot 12 came nearly two months after Lockheed and the Pentagon reached agreement on a potential $11.5B deal for the company to build the 11th batch of 141 F-35s for U.S. and foreign allies.
The report said recent program briefing slides handed to Lord show that a contract award for lot 12 F-35s could be finalized as soon as December.
Congress-mandated tests that seek to evaluate the fighter jet's warfighting effectiveness against threats are scheduled to kick off this month, according to the report.