William LaPlante: Lockheed, DOD Reach ‘Handshake’ Deal for 375 F-35 Fighter Jets

William LaPlante, under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, has shared that Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and the Department of Defense reached a “handshake” deal for the next lot buy of about 375 units of the F-35 fighter jet, Reuters reported Monday.

While production is set to take a three-year period like the previous transaction, the aircraft count and cost details are yet to be finalized considering the fiscal year 2023 budget changes and unit price increase expectations.

The current approximation for the F-35 lot buy is $30 billion.

“In the midst of continued COVID-19 impacts and decreased F-35 quantities, the F-35 enterprise was able to achieve a cost per jet lower than record-breaking inflation trends,” Lockheed said in a statement.

A “handshake” deal precedes approval of contract pricing and award, with the final transaction expected to push through in the next several months.

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