21:32 GMT11 July 2020
Listen Live
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL

    Lockheed Martin has manufactured and delivered its 300th F-35 aircraft to the US military, the firm announced Monday, just months after the Pentagon ceased deliveries of the jet.

    In April, the US Defense Department halted acceptance of the fifth-generation aircraft over a financial dispute. Specifically, Lockheed and the DoD disagreed about who should cover the costs of a production line failure that led to aircraft coming off the assembly line with corrosion issues on their exterior panels. The issue was resolved by May, when the Pentagon reauthorized continued deliveries of the aircraft.

    The company has taken more than seven years to produce 300 aircraft.

    The company's present production speed is seven to nine F-35s per month, but it expects to increase that to 12 to 15 per month in the next few years, US Navy Vice Admiral Mat Winter told USNI News in April.

    Winter has previously voiced concerns that Lockheed is not negotiating in good faith with the military, effectively keeping costs from decreasing as much as Lockheed has maintained for years would happen. "The price is coming down but it's not coming down fast enough… I will tell you I am not satisfied with the collaboration by Lockheed Martin. They could be much, much more collaborative," Winter, the top official at the Pentagon in charge of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, said in March.

    "We could seal this deal faster. We could. They chose not to, and that's a negotiating tactic," the official noted, adding that "we don't know to the level of granularity that I want to know — what it actually costs to produce the aircraft."


    Lockheed Martin, Pentagon Resume F-35 Deliveries Following Corrosion Dispute
    Israel Wants US to Keep F-35 'Upgrade Capabilities' Secret From Turkey – Reports
    Japan Asks Lockheed Martin to Craft Hybrid F-35 and F-22 Aircraft
    Turkey Vows Response if US Halts Sales of F-35 Fighters to Ankara
    Israel First to Conduct Attacks With F-35 Jets - Air Force on Syria Strike
    F-35, Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, Mat Winter, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion