05:39 GMT +323 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - More suppliers of spare parts to the controversial F-35 Lightning II aircraft have been awarded longer-term contracts in an effort to reduce sustainment costs, prime contractor Lockheed Martin said in a press release on Wednesday.

    "Lockheed Martin has transitioned additional F-35 suppliers to longer-term Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contracts and Master Repair Agreements to enhance supply availability and reduce sustainment costs," the release said.

    READ MORE: Ankara Warns F-35 Programme Will be 'Damaged' If US Excludes Turkey

    The new multi-year PBL contracts will permit companies to make longer-term investments and improve efficiencies, the release explained. Such contracts have been concluded with BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and at least 12 other suppliers, including Honeywell, General Electric and Eaton.

    Lockheed Martin said that a 2017 PBL contract awarded to BAE Systems for the Electronic Warfare subsystem is helping deliver a 25 percent improvement in the system's availability throughout global operations.

    On 2 April, Acting Chief Pentagon spokesperson Charles Summers said the United States has halted deliveries and activities with Turkey on F-35 capabilities over Ankara's decision to buy Russian S-400 air defence systems.

    F-35 Lightning II Program Executive Officer Mathias Winter told Congress on 4 April that removing Turkey from the F-35 program would cause supply chain disruptions that would affect up to 75 aircraft over a two-year period.


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    defence, S-400, F-35, Lockheed Martin, Pentagon, United States
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