Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded an $861,731,778 modification contract to produce 14 F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the U.S. Air Force including eight earlier earmarked for Turkey.
“This modification exercises options to procure eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft as a result of the Republic of Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program, and six Lot 14 F-35A aircraft for the Air Force," a DoD contract announcement said Monday.
Significantly, this modification establishes line items that provide recurring engineering in support of the modification of the eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft to a full operationally capable F-35A U.S.A.F. configuration.
The decision to transfer eight aircraft-in-production meant for Turkey to the 35A U.S.A.F comes after six fully manufactured aircraft - withdrawn from delivery to Turkey - were assigned to the 35A U.S.A.F under the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020.
Last Friday, three US lawmakers moved a bill to sanction Ankara for the purchase of Russian S-400 aircraft. The bill remained silent to the removal of Turkish companies from F-35 parts manufacturing loop which Ankara has said it will continue to perform till March 2022.