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The U.S. Military Just Inked a Massive New F-35 Deal
The Block 4 software suite for the F-35 includes 53 improvements to advanced air- and ground-based threats. None of the changes will affect the exterior of the jet.
The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative agreement on the next lot of F-35s, with options for a multi-year buy worth about $34 billion for 478 aircraft total, including foreign partners and customers.
As reported by Air Force Magazine, the agreement covers production Lot 12, with options for Lots 13 and 14. The first lot will include 157 aircraft, according to a Pentagon statement. The “framework” of the deal would lower the cost of an F-35A to $80 million in Lot 13, a year earlier than initially planned. Under Lot 11, the aircraft cost $89.2 million each.
“This is a historic milestone for the F-35 enterprise, and marks the largest procurement in the history of the department,” Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Ellen Lord said in a statement.