There’s a Lot at Stake

The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative agreement on the terms of the contract for the fifth production lot of F-35 strike fighters, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office. There will be a fixed-price type contract vehicle for this batch of aircraft—known as low-rate production lot 5—and a concurrency clause where DOD and Lockheed “will share responsibility on costs” for concurrency changes—modification costs associated with changes discovered during development, stated the JPO in a release. The Pentagon will use an undefinitized contract action to allow Lockheed its suppliers to begin production of the LRIP 5 airplanes and bill for incurred costs. The program office said DOD will announce the exact value of the LRIP 5 contract and the number of aircraft procured in this lot through its normal contract announcement process. During Lot 5, Lockheed is scheduled to start incorporating a redesigned structural component in the wings of the Air Force F-35A and Marine Corps F-35B variants.