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Lockheed Secures $225M Contract to Enhance UK’s F-35 Capability Support

Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have entered into a $225 million contract to support the capabilities of the UK’s F-35 fleet. BAE Systems will serve as a subcontractor to Lockheed, supplying the majority of personnel at RAF Marham air base.

The collaborative team will provide training for aircrew, ground crew, and mission planning, as well as technical and operational support, IT assistance, supply chain management, and maintenance capabilities, as stated by Lockheed. Lockheed’s senior program manager for sustainment, Mark Perreault, mentioned, “The industry team closely collaborated with the Lightning Delivery Team and the JPO (Joint Program Office) to develop a contract that will bolster the operations of the Lightning Force and accommodate the growing inventory of jets.”

This endeavor, known as the LANCE effort, will play a crucial role in the daily operations and preparedness of the Royal Navy and RAF Lightning squadrons. The company also emphasized that this contract will ensure the availability and enhance the capability of the UK’s F-35 fleet to carry out combat missions worldwide. The contract is expected to generate 140 jobs in the UK, primarily at RAF Marham.

Regarding the UK’s F-35s, the country has received 31 out of the 48 F-35Bs that were initially contracted, with the remaining aircraft expected to be delivered by 2025. Furthermore, the UK plans to acquire an additional 26 aircraft. The UK Ministry of Defence declared, “The Royal Air Force will continue to strengthen its combat air capacity in the coming years by establishing all seven operational Typhoon Squadrons and expanding the Lightning II Force, surpassing the initial order of 48 aircraft.

Together, they will provide an impressive capability that will be continuously upgraded to counter emerging threats, leverage multi-domain integration, and expand utility.” For the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, London opted for the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the F-35. These fifth-generation aircraft will be utilized alongside fourth-generation Typhoons for various missions, including air-to-surface, intelligence gathering, electronic warfare, and air-to-air operations.

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