Lockheed Plans Tech Updates for Lot 15 F-35 Production

Jeff Brody

Lockheed Martin wants to update the communications, fuel tank and weapons systems of the F-35 aircraft, National Defense Magazine reported Monday.

Greg Ulmer, vice president and general manager of Lockheed's F-35 program, said at the Paris Air Show that the company seeks to increase the fighter jet's fuel tank range by 40 percent and the capacity of the internal weapons bay to as many as six missiles.

Ulmer noted the aircraft has the potential to carry hypersonic weapons.

The F-35 updates, which Lockheed plans to incorporate during Lot 15 production, could also include communications and sensing features designed for teaming operations with unmanned systems.

According to Ulmer, the company is also looking to refresh aircraft hardware in the 2023 timeframe and then implement an incremental modernization effort.

The company has so far delivered around 400 of the aircraft and intends to increase that number to over 3.5K.

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