Pentagon Gives Lockheed Billions to Keep Working on F-35s

The Defense Department has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $4.49 billion undefinitized contract action to continue production on the latest batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters even as it continues to negotiate a firm price for the fifth-generation jets.

The UCA — a type of contract in which bottom-line terms or prices have not been agreed upon before performance is begun — stipulates a max price of $5.6 billion for Lockheed to continue working on the Low Rate Initial Production, or LRIP, lot 11 jets, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Lockheed is “expending money to keep the production line going,” JPO spokesman Joe DellaVedova told Military.com via telephone on Friday. So “we want to pay them for the work they they’re doing [to] obligate funds for the Lot 11 aircraft.”

The prices for individual jets are still being determined, according to the office.

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