Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office of the Department of Defense have agreed to an F-35 production rebaseline to address the aircraft shortfall caused by COVID-19 and ensure continued manufacturing stability.
Under the agreement, Lockheed is anticipating the delivery of up to 139 aircraft this year, 153 aircraft in 2022 and 156 aircraft starting in 2023 and is expected to continue in the foreseeable future, the aerospace and defense contractor said Monday.
Over 700 F-35 fighter jets have been delivered to date, currently operating from 21 bases globally. A base of nearly 1,500 pilots and over 11,000 maintenance personnel have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has over 430,000 cumulative flight hours.
The rebaseline agreement follows a recent contract modification order from the U.S. Navy and Air Force that called for Lockheed to supply 16 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.
In addition, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed a potential $6.6 billion sustainment contract to support F-35 base maintenance and pilot training while covering supply chain management for replenishment and part repair.