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Lockheed Martin confident of meeting $25,000 F-35 flight hour target

21st April 2021 - 08:25 GMT | by Tim Martin in London

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Lockheed Martin delivered 17 F-35 aircraft during Q1 2021 (Photo: US Air Force)

New sustainment plans could see Lockheed Martin reduce operating costs of the F-35 to $25,000 per flight hour.

Lockheed Martin has said a $25,000 flight hour cost target set by the F-35 Joint Program Office is achievable, but the manufacturer suggested that it still has work to do before ‘optimal sustainment strategies’ are implemented on the fifth-generation jet programme.

Excessive sustainment costs have led to public criticism of the aircraft recently, including Adam Smith, US House Armed Services Committee chair, describing the costs themselves as ‘brutal’ during a Brookings Institution event on 5 March, while cuts could be called for under the forthcoming FY2022 US defence budget request.

‘It’s an expensive machine and it’s expensive to maintain in large

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Tim Martin

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Tim Martin


Tim Martin is Air Editor for Shephard Media, based in Belfast. 

Tim has experience writing …

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