07:04 GMT27 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Lockheed Martin won more than $2.4 billion to deliver initial spare parts for the F-35 fighter jet program, the Department of Defence announced in a press release.

    "Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded $2,426,326,544 for… F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter initial spares for the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers," the release said on Friday. "All orders are expected to be placed no later than December 2020. No funds will be obligated at time of award, funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued."

    The Pentagon must re-source hundreds of F-35 parts because the Trump administration excluded Turkey from the fighter jet program last month for Ankara’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 defence system. About ten Turkish suppliers currently manufacture more than 900 F-35 part numbers, 400 of which are sole-sourced, the Pentagon said after the decision last month.

    During his confirmation hearing in mid-July, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the roughly 300-strong fleet of F-35s is not expected to meet the Pentagon’s readiness assessment target, primarily due to shortages in key parts.

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    Tags:
    Pentagon, F-35 Lightning II, F-35 fighter jet, F-35, Lockheed Martin
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