The Pentagon's newly signed deals for two lots of F-35s codifies for the first time that it will cost the U.S. Air Force less than $100 million per airframe for the single-engine, stealthy aircraft. The cost for all the aircraft in low-rate initial-production (LRIP) Lots 6 and 7 will be $8.4 billion. Prime contractor Lockheed Martin has delivered the first two of 32 aircraft in LRIP 5.
The per-unit airframe price for LRIP 6 is an average of 2.5% lower than LRIP 5; LRIP 7 prices are about 6% lower than LRIP 5. Lockheed Martin's pricing excludes the cost of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which is handled under a separate contract.
Thus far, the Pentagon has awarded $3.7 billion for LRIP 6 of the total $4.4 billion contract. Funds will be awarded incrementally as aircraft reach specific milestones in the production process. LRIP 7 is valued at $3.9 billion.