Lockheed Martin (LMT) Wins $138M Deal to Support F-35 Program

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s LMT Aeronautics business division recently won a $138.8-million modification contract in relation to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Air Systems program. The contract has been awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD.

Details of the Deal

Per the contract terms, Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics unit will continue the development of pilot training device software to align the F-35 air system with continued capability development. Additionally, the company will provide testing and continuous re-certification activities for dual-capable F-35 aircraft as Block 4 capabilities are developed and fielded in support of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and non-Department of Defense (DOD) participants.

Work related to the deal will be performed in Orlando, FL, and Fort Worth, TX, and is expected to be concluded by June 2024.

Rise in Demand Benefits F-35 Program

Rising threats from terrorist activities and adverse geopolitical situations have increased the need for enhancing the nation's defense budget, a major portion of which is allocated to combat aircraft. The F-35 program has been supported by an international team of leading aerospace majors. Notably, Northrop Grumman NOC rendered its expertise in carrier aircraft and low-observable stealth technology to this program. BAE SystemsBAESY short takeoff and vertical landing experience, and air systems sustainment supported the jet’s combat capabilities.

These features have enabled the F-35 jet to dominate the combat aircraft market, buoyed by solid demand as evident from the program’s frequent contract wins, both from the Pentagon and other U.S. allies.

Growth Prospects

Production of F-35 jets is expected to continue for many years ahead, given the U.S. government's current inventory target of 2,456 aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. Consequently, we expect Lockheed Martin to witness more order inflows for F-35, which in turn should bolster this defense contractor’s top line.

Further, the U.S. government’s fiscal 2021 defense budget includes a significant spending plan of $56.9 billion on military aircraft. Interestingly, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program has separately been allotted $11.4 billion, reflecting a 17.8% increase from the previously allotted sum. Such stupendous budgetary amendment reflects solid growth prospects for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, going ahead. Alongside Lockheed Martin, such overwhelming projections will also boost prominent military aircraft manufacturers like Boeing BA in the days to come, which manufactures Advanced F-15 and other fighter aircraft.

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