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Pentagon, Lockheed reach tentative LRIP 5 F-35 deal

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 7, 2011
The US Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative contract for a fifth batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Details of the deal have not been released. (JPO)

The US Department of Defense said this week it has reached a tentative agreement with Lockheed Martin on a new low rate initial production (LRIP) contract for F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Neither the Pentagon nor Lockheed Martin has released details of the much delayed LRIP 5 contract, saying the cost and number of aircraft covered would  be announced later. Previously the Pentagon had said LRIP 5 would cover 30 jets.

The agreement is expected to require Lockheed Martin to share the cost of design modifications associated with ‘concurrency’ changes discovered during ongoing testing of the aircraft.

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Design issues discovered during early flight and fatigue testing have been more numerous than expected, with the head of the US F-35 program recently saying production of the aircraft should be slowed down as those issues are ironed out.

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