Did the F-35 LRIP V contract just grow by two jets?

Lockheed Martin is being awarded a $258.8 millionnot-to-exceed undefinitized modification to the previously awarded low rateproduction contract for the F-35.

The contract modification to the fifth production lot addsone additional F-35A conventional take-off and landing aircraft for the US AirForce, and one additional F-35C carrier variant aircraft for the US Navy.  According to a US Department of Defenserelease the modification includes undefinitized line items, which will bedefinitized as fixed-price-incentive-firm.

6810175902_66e43152dc_bF35-LM.jpgThe low rate initial production (LRIP) V contract hasfluctuated before. Back in October 2011, the Department of Defense reduced theLRIP V procurement amount by five aircraft. That cut some combination of F-35Asand F-35Cs but preserved three orders for the F-35B.

That meant the LRIP V order droped from 35 to 30 aircraft.

Lockheed offers an explanation.

The president’s budget calls funding for up to 32 jets in LRIP 5. The UCA signed in December was for only 30 jets,” says company  spokeswoman Laurie Quincy. “This action today funds two additional jets equaling the President’s budget proposal. We look forward to continuing to work with our government customer to finalize details for a LRIP contract.

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