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.
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.