Chain Lightning

Lockheed Martin received $625 million on Nov. 3 toward an undefinitized contract for Lot 9 of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon announced. The funding will keep Lockheed and its suppliers funded as negotiations on Lot 9 and 10 continue. Lot 9 has a ceiling price of $5.37 billion, but “obviously we are hoping to go below that,” JSF system program office spokesman Joe DellaVedova said, and that ceiling will be reduced by the $625 million award this week and a previous long-lead award of $698 million. The Defense Department hopes to conclude and definitize the Lot 9 and 10 deals “by the end of the year” and have a “handshake deal” with Pratt & Whitney for the engines in those lots at the same time, signing a contract “in early 2016,” he added. Lot 9 covers 41 F-35As, of which 26 are for the US Air Force, six for Norway, seven for Israel, and two for Japan; 12 F-35Bs, evenly split between the US Marine Corps and Britain; and two F-35Cs for the Navy. Naval Air Systems Command awarded the modification. The breakdown of where the work will be done is: Fort Worth, Texas, 30 percent; El Segundo, Calif., 25 percent; Warton, UK, 20 percent; Orlando, Fla., 10 percent; Nashua, N.H., five percent; Nagoya, Japan, five percent; and Baltimore, Md., five percent.