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Investing in Future Airpower: Lockheed Martin to Enhance F-35 Manufacturing Capacity with $172 Million Contract

This contract will allow Lockheed Martin to expand its production capacity of the F-35 aircraft. US-based Lockheed Martin has received a $172 million contract modification from the Naval Air Systems Command to enhance manufacturing capacity for the F-35 aircraft. The contract will also provide specialized testing and tooling equipment, kits for modifying materials, and support for addressing operational limitations, rectifying deficiencies, and retrofitting aircraft with next-generation distributed aperture system (DAS) hardware, along with related power and thermal management system modifications.

The F-35 program involves several international partners at various levels, including the UK, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Turkey, and Australia. The program holds political, tactical, and strategic significance, offering advanced and capable aircraft to NATO countries while also expanding the influence of the US defense market through a lucrative program for Lockheed Martin, as outlined in GlobalData’s US Defense Market 2022-2027 report.

Lockheed Martin’s modifications will be applied to F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, foreign military sales (FMS) customers, and non-US Department of Defense (DoD) participants. The work will be carried out in Fort Worth, Texas, with an expected completion date of December 2030. According to GlobalData’s The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2022-2032 report, combat aircraft represent the largest segment in the market.

The US is projected to be the largest spender on combat aircraft procurement, with an estimated expenditure of $211.4 billion between 2022 and 2032. Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is a fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft designed for various roles, including air superiority, ground attack, and intelligence gathering. The DAS enhances pilots’ situational awareness by providing a 360° view of the surrounding environment.

Based on GlobalData’s analysis, Lockheed Martin is expected to hold a 43.6% share of North America’s military fixed-wing aircraft market, with an estimated revenue of $134 billion from 2022 to 2032. The company has made significant investments in improving the manufacturing process to ensure timely delivery of the aircraft to its customers.

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