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Fighters will be in the sixth and seventh low production batches

A source that claims to have been briefed on discussions between Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon claims that the two have reached an agreement on two additional batches of F-35 Lightning II fighters. The deal is claimed to be worth over $7 billion and covers an additional 75 aircraft.

The source claims that 36 F-35 fighters will be purchased in the sixth production lot and 35 aircraft will be purchased in the seventh production lot. Those totals reportedly break down with 60 of the aircraft going to the U.S. military, and the remaining 11 going to Australia, Italy, Turkey, and Britain.

The F-35 program is finally picking up steam after a number of major delays and cost overruns. The program is reportedly costing $392 billion for procurement and development of the F-35. The agreement between the Pentagon and Lockheed was reportedly negotiated without factoring across-the-board budget cuts instituted by the Pentagon in March.

The last deal struck between the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin was for the fifth batch of F-35 fighters and was concluded last December. That deal saw the Pentagon purchase 32 aircraft at a cost of $3.8 billion. Reuters reports that government mandated furloughs for some civilian employees working on the F-35 program are resulting in delays in flight testing.

"We don't know yet what the final impact will be," DellaVedova said. "We think we'll be at least a month behind."

The civilian workers operate flight test controls at Edwards Air Force Base in California and Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Source: Reuters

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By Amiga500 on 7/31/2013 3:11:33 AM , Rating: 2
LM and their congressional puppets are a proper bunch of crooks. The figures quoted don't include:
- engines
- planned retrofits
- unplanned retrofits (the govt bearing the entire tab for this - not the LM powerpoint promise wizards who insisted parallel production and testing would work).

The actual prices (inc. engines and planned retrofits) are approx:

F-35A (LRIP6) = $120.5 million
F-35A (LRIP7) = $116.5 million

F-35B (LRIP6) = $150.6 million
F-35B (LRIP7) = $145.9 million

F-35C (LRIP6) ~ $155 million
F-35C (LRIP7) ~ $146 million

Which leaves the real cost of LRIP6 and LRIP7 in excess of $9 billion. Sure whats a few billion dollars between friends right?

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