Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, head of the F-35 joint program office at the Department of Defense, said DOD could be ready to enter into a performance-based logistics contract with Lockheed Martin for the fighter jet program once the recently signed agreement for F-35 sustainment support services expires in fiscal year 2023, Defense News reported Thursday.
The PBL contract would require Lockheed to provide the Pentagon access to technical data, particularly “provisioning and cataloguing data,” to facilitate sustainment work on the F-35 program in the event that the company fails to meet certain performance requirements.
“We’re using really the incentive of the PBL to help us get decent pricing on the tech data required [for the services to do more sustainment organically], so that at the end of that PBL, the services and the department have an option for moving forward,” Fick told reporters Wednesday during a roundtable.
The F-35 sustainment support contract recently awarded to Lockheed has two additional option years that could run through FY 2023 and could bring the deal’s total value to $6.6 billion if exercised, according to the report.
Fick said the recently inked sustainment contract could pave the way for a five-year PBL contract for “supply chain management and demand reduction” to speed up repairs of F-35 parts.
He added that DOD would continue to enter into annual contracts with the Bethesda, Maryland-based defense contractors for sustainment work not covered by the PBL.