South Korea will benefit from economies of scale when production of the F-35 stealth jet goes into full swing in the next five years if it signs a contract for 40 aircraft for delivery starting from 2018, a senior Lockheed Martin official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency. "Seoul is set to confirm a plan to buy 40 F-35As through the U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) program without open bidding, while the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the finance ministry are currently deliberating the total budget", according to the report. Gary North, vice president for customer requirements for Lockheed Martin, suggested South Korea is in a good position to profit from economies of scale as his company is expected to start full-scale production between 2017 and 2018. "As the number of the airplanes goes up over the years, the cost is coming down. Once it reaches the full rate production, the cost will flatten out as a function of the economics," North told Korean reporters during their visit to the F-35 production line in Fort Worth, Texas. South Korea had initially planned to buy 60 advanced jets to replace the aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s, but it reduced the number after rejecting Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle, the only aircraft that met the previous competition's budget of 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion), leaving open the possibility of 20 more jets in the future. Lockheed Martin fell short of providing an estimated budget for the South Korean deal as the FMS conditions require a foreign government to pay the amount specified by the U.S.
The Italian defense ministry is considering cutting its F-35 orders with calls to further reduce the number of aircraft on order. Italy has become the first US ally to call out the flaws on the Lockheed F-35 fighter aircraft in particular the General Confederation of Italian Workers (CGIL) thinks “it essential to rethink the purchase of the F-35
Israel is planning to adopt indigenously-built Stand-Off guided weapons for the F-35 fighters they are buying. Rafael has begun work to merge the Spice 1000 Electro-Optically, Stand-Off guided weapon to bomber, according to C4Defence
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is close to signing the first contract for Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft, UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was quoted as saying by Reuters Television. The UK MoD will soon place a firm order in a bid to have the first squadron ready to start flying training off the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2018
The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) will finalize the purchase of 40 Lockheed Martins next-generation F-35 jet fighter jets later this year. "We will push to sign the contract in the third quarter, after testing and further negotiations," Jung Kwang-Sun, the DAPAs aircraft department director, was quoted as saying by various media report
Cubic Defense Systems has won a $18.3 million contract from Lockheed Martin to design and integrate its latest-generation air combat training system for the F-35 Lightning II
The US Department of Justice has launched an investigation into Honeywells export and import procedures after it was found that the firm used Chinese parts on the F-35 aircraft. Besides using $2 magnets on the aircrafts radar system, landing gears and other hardware, Honeywell also used simple thermal sensors that were made in China in 2009 and 2010
Australia is buying 58 new F-35 fighter jets worth $11.5 billion, making a total of 72 jets owned by the government
South Korea has requested the US sale of AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder missiles and associated support States through a Foreign Military Sales deal worth $98 million. The U
Lockheed Martin Australia and Pilatus Aircraft, supported by Hawker Pacific, have jointly launched a bid to provide a new pilot training system for the Australian Defence Force. The consortium, known as Team 21, submitted its proposal for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System on March 31st
The US Defense Department has awarded a $10.2 million contract to advance its F-35 JSF deliveries to the Israeli Air Force
The Pentagon is planning the international debut of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the Farnborough Air Show and the Royal International Air Tattoo, according to a Reuters report. The F-35B is the likely model that would be displayed
The US Marine Corps F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program would be delayed further due to glitches in software development and testing, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Earlier reports said the F-35s is scheduled to reach “initial operating capability” by mid-2015
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