The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have finalized an agreement to buy the next three batches of F-35 Joint attack fighters for $34 billion, setting the price of the f-35a at less than $80 million each, the US media reported on October 31.
The arrival of the new pricing was a year ahead of expectations, according to the US Defense News Weeklys website October 29 daily. The agreement covers the delivery of 478 F-35 fighters in batches 12, 13 and 14 to U.S. and international customers.
According to the Pentagon, from the 11th batch to the 14th batch, the price of single machine for all models will drop by about 12.8% on average.
Ellen Lord, the Pentagons Under Secretary for procurement, said: we will achieve our air force f-35a acceptance target of $80 million in the 13th batch. Its a lot ahead of schedule - an important milestone for the Department of defense.
According to the report, the price of f-35a conventional takeoff and landing aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force and most international users will be reduced from $89.2 million in the 11th batch to $82.4 million in the 12th batch, to $79.2 million in the 13th batch and to $77.9 million in the 14th batch.
The F-35B price for short takeoff and vertical landing will be reduced to $108 million in the 12th batch, $104.8 million in the 13th batch and $101.3 million in the 14th batch. The price of the f-35c, which can take off and land on the aircraft carrier, has also declined, dropping to US $103.1 million in the 12th batch, US $98.1 million in the 13th batch and US $94.4 million in the 14th batch.
Loma will deliver 149 F-35 fighters in the 12th batch, 160 in the 13th batch and 169 in the 14th batch.
Neither Lord nor Eric Fick, the Pentagons F-35 program director, explained why the number of purchases in the 12th batch had fallen from 157 announced in an oral agreement in June to 149 in the final agreement. According to the report, the decrease is likely due to Turkeys withdrawal from the project.
The Pentagon announced Friday that the contract was finalized, and the former F-35 contract was modified to add another $7 billion to Loma. Fick said the defense department had previously earmarked funds for Loma through contracts for some 255 aircraft that had not been finalised.
In a statement, Lomas F-35 project leader praised the progress made in reducing the price of fighter aircraft.
Greg Almer, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martins F-35 program, said: through smart procurement strategy, strong government enterprise partnership and unremitting attention to quality and cost reduction, manufacturers have successfully reduced the procurement cost of the F-35 as the 5th generation fighter to the same or lower level as the 4th generation fighter.
On October 19, at the Houston air show, the U.S. F-35 fighters performed. Xinhua Social Development Bureau (photographed by Song Yuan)