The future is looking bright for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The future is looking bright for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is set for massive growth as the program finally reaches maturity and enters into full rate production. Indeed, over the past year, the program grew by some 18 percent according to company officials.
“Our F-35 program, during the fourth quarter we met our joint government and industry commitment by delivering the 66 aircraft in 2017,” Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, told investors. “This accomplishment represents a 40 percent increase from the previous year as we continue to ramp up production on this transformational fighter.”
Lockheed Martin expects that the program will continue to expand in 2018. “We anticipate this momentum continuing into 2018 and now expect to deliver approximately 90 jets this year, an increase of over 35 percent from 2017 as we continue to progress to full rate production in the next few years,” Hewson said. “To date, we have delivered over 265 planes to U.S. and international customers. We are excited to see the international community embrace the F-35.”
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As the program grows, the F-35 program is beginning to pay off for Lockheed Martin in terms of increased margins for each aircraft being built. “We did have some risk retirements in the quarter on the F-35 program that did result in higher margins in the quarter on the F-35 program,” Lockheed Martin executive vice president and chief financial officer Bruce Tanner told investors. “But I will say we had good performance on the manufacturing, especially the production obviously.”