The Pentagon has ordered $2.4 Billion worth F-35 jet parts from Lockheed Martin in a deal seen as a fallout of Turkey’s ejection from the F-35 program over S-400 row with the US.
“Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded $2,426,326,544 for modification P00002 to previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N00019-19-D-0015 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter initial spares for the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers,” US DoD said in a statement Friday.
Spares to be procured include global spares packages, base spares packages, deployment spares packages, afloat spares packages and associated consumables.
"All orders are expected to be placed no later than December 2020. No funds will be obligated at time of award, funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued," the release said.
The US kicked out Turkey from the F-35 programme after the country went ahead with its $2.5 billion purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia, irking Washington. About ten Turkish suppliers currently manufacture more than 900 F-35 part numbers, 400 of which are sole-sourced.
During his confirmation hearing in mid-July, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the roughly 300-strong fleet of F-35s is not expected to meet the Pentagon’s readiness assessment target, primarily due to shortages in key parts.