The US Navy has awarded two major contracts to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, totaling more than $1 billion. The contracts will support the production and delivery of F-35 aircraft, engines, and helmets for the US and its allies.
Lockheed Martin to Provide Long-Lead Parts for 173 F-35 Aircraft
Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the F-35 program, received a $606.8 million contract on August 22 for long-lead parts for 173 F-35 aircraft in Lot 19. The contract covers 91 aircraft for the US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, and 82 aircraft for international partners and foreign military sales customers. Long-lead parts are components that require a long time to produce or procure, such as castings, forgings, and specialized materials.
The contract is expected to be completed by January 2028. It is part of the ongoing negotiations between Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office (JPO) for the production Lots 18 and 19, which could include up to 312 aircraft. The JPO is also planning to negotiate a separate contract for Lot 20, which could be the first multiyear procurement for the F-35 program.
Raytheon Technologies to Supply F-35 Engines, Helmets, and Software Upgrades
Raytheon Technologies, the parent company of Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace, received four contracts worth a total of $447.2 million for various aspects of the F-35 program. Pratt & Whitney, the sole provider of the F135 engine for the F-35, received two contracts:
- A $347.4 million contract on August 21 to add scope to a previous contract for helmet-mounted display systems for the F-35. The contract covers Lot 15 and 16 aircraft for all F-35 users and is expected to be completed by December 2026. The helmet-mounted display system works with the F-35’s distributed aperture system to provide a 360-degree field of view and tactical information for the pilot in any lighting condition.
- A $59.3 million contract on August 23 for long-lead items for Lot 18 F135 engines. The contract covers all F-35 variants and users and is expected to be completed by December 2025.
Collins Aerospace, which provides avionics, communications, and other systems for the F-35, received two contracts:
- A $25.5 million contract on August 23 to provide software upgrades for the F-35’s integrated core processor (ICP), which is the brain of the aircraft. The contract covers Lot 17 aircraft for all F-35 users and is expected to be completed by June 2025. The ICP is responsible for processing data from the F-35’s sensors, weapons, and communications systems.
- A $15 million contract on August 23 to provide software upgrades for the F-35’s panoramic cockpit display (PCD), which is the main interface between the pilot and the aircraft. The contract covers Lot 17 aircraft for all F-35 users and is expected to be completed by June 2025. The PCD is a large touchscreen that displays flight information, maps, targeting data, and other information.
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is the contracting authority for all F-35 contracts because it oversees the program under the Navy’s service acquisition executive. The current program executive officer (PEO) for the F-35 is an Air Force officer, Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick.