The Defense Department has paidÂ Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) an upfront fee of $1.28 billion to bankrollÂ the 10th batch of F-35 aircraft through a potential $7.19 billion “undefinitized” contract action by DoD, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Anthony CapaccioÂ writes DoD made the down payment to Lockheed as both parties work to definitize the contract for the production of up to 90 aircraft through fiscal 2018.
The report saidÂ the initial funds will also pay the fighter program’s suppliers and help the prime contractor address deficiencies that were discovered during previous aircraft tests.
Bloomberg quoted Joe DellaVedova, the F-35 program office’s spokesman, as saying the department obligated the money in an effort to avoid significant delays from the production line and supply chain.
DellaVedova added that DoD and Lockheed aim to finalize terms of the lot 10 agreement over the next few months.
The department issued aÂ $1.6 billion “unilateral” contract actionÂ early in November for Lockheed to manufacture a total of 57 lot 9 F-35s for U.S. and foreign military customers.