Andrea Shalal writes the contract is worth an estimated more than $4 billion for the company to manufacture 43 F-35s.
“We are in the endgame of the negotiation, ” Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed’s aeronautics business, told an audience at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.
“Our hope is that we’ll close shortly. I’ll say weeks … maybe if we’re a little bit lucky, days, ” Carvalho added.
Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, F-35 deputy program director, told the Reuters forum that DoD has decided to negotiate contracts for the ninth and 10th F-35 production sets at the same time.
He added the department aims to increase the aircraft availability rate from 40 percent to as much as 57 percent by the end of this year, according to Shalal’s article.
Reuters reports Pratt & Whitney is also close to finalizing a more than $1 billion deal with DoD for F-35 engines.