The U.S. Department of Defense has contracted Lockheed Martin to continued design maturation and development of contractually identified Block 4 common capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II.
The deal, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, provide support of the F-35 Phase 2.2(A)(1) pre-modernization of common capabilities in support of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and the international partners.
All work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed by July 2019, said the DoD, adding that this contract this modification combines purchases for the Air Force ($83,950,846; 79.96 percent) and the international partners ($21,040,207; 20.04 percent).
Block 4 is primarily software, as well as some new capabilities and correct deficiencies of nine capabilities carried over from the current development programme, such as the prognostics health management system down-link and communication capabilities.
The F-35 Lightning II is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft ever built.
More than a fighter jet, the F-35’s ability to collect, analyze and share data is a powerful force multiplier enhancing all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace and enabling men and women in uniform to execute their mission and come home safe.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.
Three variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries.