11:53 GMT04 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Production of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter rose by almost 40 percent this year compared with 2017, Lockheed Martin said in a press release on Thursday.

    "The 91 deliveries in 2018 represent nearly a 40 percent increase from 2017 and about a 100 percent production increase compared to 2016," the release said. "Next year, Lockheed Martin is set to deliver more than 130 F-35s representing yet another 40 percent increase in production."

    Lockheed Martin explained it has delivered the 91st F-35 aircraft for the year, meeting the joint government and industry delivery target for 2018 and demonstrating the F-35 enterprise's ability to ramp to full rate production.

    "To date, more than 355 F-35s have been delivered and are now operating from 16 bases worldwide… Ten nations are flying the F-35… The price of an F-35A is now $89.2 million," the release said.

    READ MORE: Netherlands to Buy More F-35 Jets for Following NATO Demands

    The F-35 is the most expensive aircraft program in history with a projected lifetime cycle total cost of $1.5 trillion. Supply chain issues with Pratt & Whitney's engine were cited as one reason US acquisition costs ballooned from $379 billion to $406 billion in the 2017 Select Acquisition Report.


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