Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have signed a $225 million capability support contract for the UK’s F-35 fleet.
BAE Systems will act as subcontractor under the contract, providing most of the personnel at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham air base.
The joint team will deliver “aircrew, ground crew, and mission planning training, technical and operational support, IT support, supply chain management and expertise, and maintenance capabilities,” Lockheed stated.
“The industry team worked closely with the Lightning Delivery Team and the [Joint Program Office] to provide a contract that will support the Lightning Force operations and the increasing inventory of jets,” Lockheed sustainment senior program manager Mark Perreault said.
To Ensure Availability, Enhance Capability
“The services and expertise being provided via the LANCE effort will be integral to the daily operations and readiness of the Lightning squadrons of the Royal Navy and RAF.”
The work “will ensure and enhance the UK F-35 fleet’s availability and capability to conduct combat missions worldwide,” the company added.
The contract will provide 140 jobs in the UK, mainly at RAF Marham.
The UK’s F-35s
The UK has received 31 of 48 contracted F-35Bs and expects to receive the rest by 2025. The country also plans to purchase 26 additional aircraft.
“The Royal Air Force will continue to grow its combat air capacity over the next few years as we fully establish all seven operational Typhoon Squadrons and grow the Lightning II Force, increasing the fleet size beyond the 48 aircraft that we have already ordered,” the UK Ministry of Defence stated.
“Together they will provide a formidable capability, which will be continually upgraded to meet the threat, exploit multi-domain integration and expand utility.”
London purchased the short takeoff and vertical landing version for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.
The British military will fly the fifth-generation aircraft alongside its fourth-generation Typhoons on “air-to-surface, intelligence gathering, electronic warfare, and air-to-air missions.”