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F-35 reaches lowest price per unit in program history


The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have finalized an $11.5 billion contract for the production and delivery of 141 F-35 aircraft at the lowest per aircraft price in program history, the aircraft maker announced on September 28, 2018.


F 35 reaches lowest price per unit in program history 001 F-35 Lightning II's from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, fly in formation during a training flight May 2, 2017
(Credit: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Christine Groening)


For the eleventh consecutive year, the cost of an F-35A was lowered.  The F-35A unit price including aircraft, engine and fee, is $89.2 million. This represents a 5.4 percent reduction from the $94.3 million it cost for an F-35A in Low-Rate Initial Production Lot 10 (LRIP 10). 

In LRIP 11, the F-35B unit cost was lowered to $115.5 million.  This represents a 5.7 percent reduction from the $122.4 million it cost for the short-takeoff and landing variant in LRIP 10. The F-35C unit cost was lowered to $107.7 million. This represents an 11.1 percent reduction from the $121.2 million it cost for the carrier variant in LRIP 10. The LRIP 11 agreement funds 91 aircraft for the U.S. Services, 28 for F-35 International Partners and 22 for F-35 Foreign Military Sales customers. Deliveries will begin in 2019.

"Driving down cost is critical to the success of this program," said Vice Admiral Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer. "We are delivering on our commitment to get the best price for taxpayers and warfighters."

"This agreement for the next lot of F-35s represents a fair deal for the U.S. Government, our international partnership and industry.  We remain focused on aggressively reducing F-35 cost and delivering best value."

With stealth technology, supersonic speed, powerful sensors, large weapons capacity and global deployment, the F-35 is the most advanced fighter aircraft ever built, enabling women and men in uniform to execute their mission and return home safely. More than a fighter jet, the F-35's ability to collect, analyze and share data, is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace.

"This agreement marks a significant step forward for the F-35 program as we continue to increase production, reduce costs and deliver transformational capabilities to our men and women in uniform," said Greg Ulmer, F-35 Vice President and General Manager. "As production ramps up, and we implement additional cost savings initiatives, we are on track to reduce the cost of the F-35A to $80 million by 2020, which is equal to or less than legacy aircraft, while providing a major leap in capability."