Lockheed Martin agrees new F-35 production numbers with DoD

Lockheed Martin has agreed with the Pentagon to deliver 133-139 F-35s this year, followed by 151-153 in 2022.

The company also anticipates the delivery of 156 aircraft in 2023 and in the foreseeable future.

More than 700 F-35s have been delivered to date. And the fighter jets are operating from 21 bases around the world. More than 1,460 pilots and 11,025 maintainers have been trained and the fleet has surpassed 430,000 cumulative flight hours.

Senior US defence leaders have reiterated their support for the F-35, which US Air Force chief of staff Charles Q. Brown calls the cornerstone of the service’s fighter fleet. According to Air Force secretary Frank Kendall, the F-35 is a “game-changing tactical air warfare capability.”

One of the most visible examples of international F-35 collaboration is the UK’s Carrier Strike Group deployment. The HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier began its initial deployment in May 2021, with British and US Marine Corps F-35Bs aboard.

The UK now has two aircraft carriers deployed with F-35Bs aboard – following the inaugural deployment of HMS Prince of Wales, Britain’s newest aircraft carrier.

NATO members with F-35 Programs of Record include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, as well as the UK and the US.

Switzerland recently selected the F-35 as the nation’s next fighter platform.  Production of the first F-35 for Poland is scheduled to begin in 2022 and the first aircraft is expected to be delivered in 2024. Preliminary talks are also underway with several potential new F-35 customers in Europe.

The F-35 is also powering partnerships in the Indo-Pacific, where regional nations plan to procure a combined total of nearly 300 F-35s.

Australia operates the F-35A with a program of record for 100 F-35A aircraft. Japan is acquiring more F-35s than any other international customer with an established program of record of 147 F-35 aircraft – 105 F-35As and up to 42 F-35Bs. The Republic of Korea is currently taking deliveries of 40 F-35A aircraft, and Singapore is on track to receive its first F-35B in 2026.


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