A contract has been awarded supporting the procurement of long-lead items in support of F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 12.

Lockheed Martin recently received an earlier $1.377 billion contract for low-rate initial production of 130 Lot 12 F-35 Lightning II fighter planes. Most of the work for that contract will be done in Texas and California as well as the UK, with the rest spread among Florida, Maryland and Japan.

According to a contract notification on the Department of Defense website, the long lead items for this production lot have now been procured:

“United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is being awarded a $19,266,207 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee and fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract (N00019-15-C-0004).  

This modification provides for procurement of extra-long-lead items in support of the low-rate initial production Lot XII F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft production.  The extra-long-lead items include group hardware supporting the Lot XII delivery of conventional take-off and landing propulsion systems for the Air Force, Navy, non-Department of Defense (non-DoD) participants, and foreign military sales (FMS) customers, as well as group hardware supporting the Lot XII delivery of short take-off and vertical landing propulsion systems for the Marine Corps.  

Work will be performed in East Hartford, Connecticut (67 percent); Indianapolis, Indiana (26.5 percent); and Bristol, United Kingdom (6.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2019.  Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps), non-DoD participant, and FMS funds in the amount of $19,266,207, are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  

This contract combines purchases for the Marine Corps ($16,961,563; 88.04 percent); non-DoD participants ($1,899,178; 9.86 percent); Air Force ($287,205; 1.49 percent); FMS ($78,841; 0.41 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program; and Navy ($39,420; 0.20 percent).  

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.”

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Mike Saul

Still no comment from UKDJ that 48 F35B will cost the UK £9bn by 2026.

Now that’s a real story as opposed lot 12 long lead items.



You know perfectly well that the £9bn is not just the cost of the aircraft, but also the cost of the support facilities for our future F-35 fleet including rebuilding at Marham. So that’s a non-story too.

Mike Saul

I know perfectly well that the real cost of procuring the F35 for UK far exceeds the fly away cost often quoted.

For example the fly away cost is often quoted at around £100m. So the procurement of 48 should be around £5bn.

So the cost of upgrading Marham, spares, training, upgrades and miscellaneous items is what £4bn!!!

I know it hurts to admit the truth but lets be honest on this issue. I fully support our involvement in the F35 project and procurement of 138 aircraft.

Without honesty the UK defence problem will never be resolved.


In fairness Mike – this is not just for 48 F35’s – it is 48 F35’s plus spares, support, infrastructure etc. Its one of my pet hates with the MOD – the plane costs circa $122m each (Lot 10) so 48 aircraft is likely to cost in the region of $6bn with a further $6bn spent on R&D spares, training and infrastructure (which is clearly a lot). It may also be the case that these sunken costs set up the support structure for the whole 138 planes over the next 30 years at which point this is less of an… Read more »

Mike Saul

And when we order more F35s will need to order more spares, train more crews, convert more airbases.

Or do think we all 138 F35 will operate from Marham? Or that we have ordered spares for 138 aircraft in advance? Or have trained sufficient pilots and ground crew by 2026 for those 138 aircraft.

The UK is not alone in this all countries that have ordered the F35 face similar costs.

Sorry but bull manure about how cheap the F35 is doesn’t wash with me


Thanks Mike for letting us know that the cost of buying a car is not the same as the running costs of the car.

Be sure to post this again a dozen times next week!





John Clark

The unit cost of the aircraft will come down as production expands, but there’s no getting round the fact that this is an extremely expensive aircraft and we really don’t have a choice. It was quoted many years ago that such was the unit cost of an individual TSR2 ( had it gone ahead) the accidental loss of a single aircraft would have been a national tragically. Well, aircraft carrier aviation is dangerous, no getting around this and there will unfortunately be accidental losses over the years, the press will without doubt, get hysterical about every loss! Mike raises an… Read more »

John Hampson

Mr Saul has certainly appears to have had a Road to Damascus moment with regard the F35 costs since he wrote “There have many articles on this website regards the cost of F35, the only conclusion one can draw from those articles is that the F35 will be cheaper to procure than a Typhoon.” That was after I was accused of “manipulating numbers to try and support your argument” when I was arguing the cost of the F35 was being suppressed and distorted and would rise while the Typhoon was falling significantly. In addition to the information he provides (… Read more »


Typhoon……………….10 years late. How much did that cost ?? Oohh, I know, it was conveniently written off.

When the UK Government decided not to back the last chance UK industry had at developing its own advanced fighter aircraft via the EAP demonstrator programme then we kissed goodbye to the future, forever. Stop whinging about everything you read on the Tinterweb, everybody seems to be an expert via Google. As for the MoD (Ministry of Dysfunction), it would save the UK taxpayer a significant amount if they were simply disbanded, pretty sure they would not be missed !