Lockheed Martin has delivered 12 F-35 aircraft to the US Department of Defense so far this year against a contracted total of 30 for 2012, leaving it five months to deliver the remaining 18 examples.
"Production activities are continuing to progress. In our second quarter, we delivered three production aircraft. Since then, we've delivered seven additional aircraft, bringing year-to-date production deliveries to 12," says Christopher Kubasik, Lockheed's chief operating officer and soon to be president. "Included in this total is the first international aircraft, delivered to the United Kingdom."
Kubasik says there are now a total of "just over 70 aircraft in production flow." These follow 19 already stationed at Eglin AFB, Florida, eight test aircraft at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, and six more test aircraft at Edwards AFB, California. "The F-35 programme is making good progress," he says.
"We are going to finalize deliveries of all the LRIP [low-rate initial production] 2 aircraft, all the LRIP 3 and a pretty good portion of LRIP 4 aircraft this year," says Bruce Tanner, Lockheed's chief financial officer.
Lockheed has also received a $490 million contract for LRIP 7 long-lead production items this quarter, Kubasik says. That will allow the company to start "procurement activities" to begin for the 35 aircraft expected in that production lot.