September 30, 2013
Credit: Lockheed Martin
The Pentagon has signed off on the next two lots of F-35 purchases totaling 71 aircraft for the U.S. and four allies, the Defense Department announced today.
The $7.8 billion deals cover low-rate initial production lots 6 and 7. LRIP 6 includes 23 F-35As, six F-35Bs and seven F-35Cs. LRIP 7 includes 24 F-25As, seven F-35Bs and four F-35Cs.
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.
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 $3.4 billion.
This is the first deal in which Lockheed Martin, the F-35 airframe prime contractor, assumes all responsibility for overruns over the target cost. For the previous five lots, the government and contractor shared at varying levels in overruns.
This is also the first contract for the F-35 in which the target unit airframe price is under $100 million; the deal calls for the price of the 24 F-35As in LRIP 7 to be delivered for $98 million apiece. Prices for the other variants are as follows in LRIP 6:
* F-35A $103 million;
* F-35B $109 million;
* F-35C $ 120 million;