U.S. and allied military air forces are ordering ninety F-35 fighter-bomber jet aircraft from Lockheed Martin under the terms of a $7.2 billion order. The contract involves several different low-rate initial production versions of the F-35 for U.S. military and foreign buyers.
Officials of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, the organization handling F-35 aviation technology procurement for all military forces, are ordering conventional and vertical takeoff and landing versions, as well as carrier versions of the F-35 jet from the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics segment in Fort Worth, Texas. The order includes seventy-six F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) jet aircraft for operation from conventional long runways; twelve F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) jet aircraft for operation from small ships and unimproved runways; and two F-35C reinforced aircraft with folding wings for aircraft carrier operations.
With its advanced avionics, the F-35 is a fifth generation, single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole jet fighter-bomber designed to perform aerial reconnaissance, air defense, and ground attack missions. It is one of the most advanced combat jets today.