By Colton Jones
Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin was awarded a $7.8 billion contract modification for the production of additional F-35 fighter jets, the Department of Defense announced. The award exercises options for the production and delivery of 126 Lot 17 F-35 aircraft, including 81 F-35A aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and its allies.
Last year, Pentagon agreed with Lockheed Martin to build about 375 F-35 fighter jets over three years in a deal worth $30 billion. F-35 is the most advanced, survivable and connected fighter aircraft in the world, giving pilots an advantage against any adversary and enabling them to execute their mission and come home safe.
To date, the F-35 operates from 27 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 890 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,870 pilots and 13,500 maintainers trained on the aircraft.