Aerospace & Defense

Pentagon awards Lockheed Martin $6.6 bln sustainment contract for F-35 fighter jets

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A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Sept 13 (Reuters) - The Pentagon has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) annualized contracts worth up to $6.6 billion to support operations and sustainment of the global F-35 fleet, its F-35 Joint Program Office said on Monday.

The air vehicle sustainment contract is for fiscal year 2021, with options for years 2022 and 2023, and is intended to reduce sustainment costs, the office said.

Separately, Lockheed said that the contract would include supporting base and depot maintenance, pilot and maintainer training while also covering supply chain management for part repair and replenishment.

"These contracts represent more than a 30% reduction in cost per flying hour from the 2020 annualized contract, and exemplify the trusted partnership and commitment we share to reduce sustainment costs and increase availability for this unrivaled 5th generation weapon system," Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin vice president, said.

Reporting by Sneha Bhowmik and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V

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