The US has awarded a $49 million contract to American defense firm Lockheed Martin to design and produce a new F-35 stealth jet variant for an undisclosed allied nation.
According to the US Department of Defense, the company will perform engineering and related work over five years to develop the new aircraft variant.
Although the name of the US ally was not disclosed in the announcement, Defense World reported that all F-35 customers receive the standard variants except for Israel.
Finland also announced this month that it had chosen the F-35A as its next fighter aircraft, with plans to buy 64 F35As. The Netherlands has also declared Initial Operational Capability for its four F-35A fighters this month, paving the way for their limited deployment.
The majority of work on the new F-35 variant will be performed in Texas, with some work performed in California, Florida, Maryland, New York, and the UK.
The project is expected to be complete by December 2026.