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Lockheed Martin Receives $1.3 Billion F-35 Contract

Lockheed Martin Corp. on Monday received a nearly $1.3 billion contract for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet program.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company and world's largest defense contractor got the modification for the stealthy fifth-generation fighter aircraft added by lawmakers during fiscal 2016 budget negotiations, the announcement states.

The agreement, part of a previously awarded Lot 11 low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract, calls for delivery of 13 of F-35s, including six F-35B jump-jet variants for the Marine Corps, three F-35A conventional models for the Air Force and four F-35C aircraft carrier versions for the Navy, it states.

Overall, the Joint Strike Fighter program -- the Pentagon's most expensive acquisition effort -- is estimated to cost $379 billion for a total of 2,457 aircraft and engines for the U.S. military, a decrease of 3 percent from a previous estimate.

The Marine Corps declared the F-35B ready for initial operations last year -- albeit with a less lethal version of the aircraft. The Air Force is expected to follow suit with the F-35A later this year and the Navy with the F-35C in in 2018 or 2019.

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