The US Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) an additional $5 billion from the U.S. Air Force for the production of three lots of F-22 Raptor air dominance fighters from the year 2008 through 2011. The current award brings the total multi-year F-22 contract value to $7.3 billion and extends the production of the aircraft through the year 2011.
The U.S. government previously awarded $2.3 billion of the contract to buy long lead- time parts and maintain continuous manufacturing flow. The air force also awarded a $1.3 billion multiyear contract to Pratt & Whitney to produce the Raptor’s F119 engines. Two F119 engines enable the F-22 to supercruise or achieve supersonic speeds without the use of the afterburner.
“The multi-year contract allows us to generate savings for the taxpayer and continue to deliver the most capable aircraft in the world to the men and women defending our nation,” said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice president and F-22 program general manager. A recent RAND Corporation study, the multi-year contract is estimated to save approximately $400 million over Lots 7, 8 and 9 (60 aircraft), compared to a corresponding annual procurement program. This equates to a savings of $6.85 million per aircraft.
The F-22 is produced in partnership with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney with parts and subsystems provided by nearly 1,000 suppliers in 44 U.S. states. F-22 production takes place at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facilities in Marietta, Ga.; Fort Worth, Tex.; Palmdale, Calif.; and Meridian, Miss., as well as at Boeing’s plant in Seattle, Wash. Final assembly and initial flight testing of the Raptor occur in Marietta. Currently, Raptors are being built at a rate of approximately two per month. The multiyear procurement will sustain a production rate of 20 per year, with deliveries starting in late 2008. That plan will bring the total F-22 buy to 183 aircraft, the most allowed under the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review findings. To date, 105 Raptors have completed final assembly at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga. So far, 99 Raptors have been delivered to the Air Force.