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Lockheed Martin to ramp up F-35 production

The global defence contractor has announced it aims to make 169 F-35 fighter jets in 2022.

The global defence contractor has announced it aims to make 169 F-35 fighter jets in 2022.

Lockheed Martin has confirmed it will ramp up production and delivery of F-35 aircraft in 2022 following supply-chain disruptions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The company is expected to deliver between 133 and 139 jets this year, increasing to 169 in 2022 and plateauing at 175 thereafter. Lockheed Martin increased its outlook for 2021 sales and profit as it reported a better-than-expected quarterly performance.

The F-35 fighter jet producer increased the midpoint of its full-year revenue outlook slightly to US$68 billion, which is still below Wall Street's average estimate of US$68.17 billion.

Despite bipartisan concern after US President Joe Biden proposed a flat defence budget for 2022, Lockheed chief financial officer Ken Possenriede said it was in line with the company's expectations. 

"We believe once we get more details, we'll see that a lot of our programs are in line with what our customers want," Possenriede said.

Despite calls from progressive Democrats to reduce Pentagon spending, the proposal suggested funding for the Department of Defense on an inflation-adjusted basis at US$715 billion.

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Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program includes the delivery of 72 jets to the Royal Australian Air Force.

Last year, the RAAF accepted the 30th F-35A aircraft ordered by the Commonwealth government under the Joint Strike Fighter program.

All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023, with an option to expand the fleet to a maximum of 100 aircraft.

[Related: Should Australia explore alternatives to an F-35 top-up?]

 

 

Nastasha Tupas

Nastasha Tupas

Journalist – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Nastasha is a Journalist at Momentum Media, she reports extensively across veterans affairs, cyber security and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific. She is a co-author of a book titled The Stories Women Journalists Tell, published by Penguin Random House. Previously, she was a Content Producer at Verizon Media, a Digital Producer for Yahoo! and Channel 7, a Digital Journalist at Sky News Australia, as well as a Website Manager and Digital Producer at SBS Australia. Nastasha started her career in media as a Video Producer and Digital News Presenter at News Corp Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, major in Media, Culture and Technology; minor in Psychology from UNSW Sydney as well as a Diploma of Journalism from Macleay College.

Lockheed Martin to ramp up F-35 production
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