F-35 Lightning II F-35 Lifecycle

Lockheed Martin provides transformational technology to develop, produce and sustain the F-35. From the production line to the flight line, Lockheed Martin compiles decades of experience to build and sustain the most advanced aircraft in the world. 

The F-35 program focuses on three core lifecycle areas: Development, Production and Sustainment. The F-35 delivers a next generation aircraft that will perform missions for decades to come. To help our customers meet this mission we continue to develop new capabilities to defend against evolving global threats and better produce and sustain the F-35. 

Development

The F-35 delivers unmatched mission flexibility to the U.S. and our international partners. We continue to develop new capabilities and systems to ensure that the F-35 dominates the battle space today and in the future.

We continue to add new weapon systems to significantly enhance the F-35. To widen the gap between 4th Generation aircrafts and the F-35 we’ve increased the internal weapons capacity, added more missions to multi-role and integrated new technologies to the F-35 suite.

These capabilities help make the F-35 the most lethal and survivable aircraft in the world. 

Production

Aggressive F-35 production continues to ramp up, with a 50 percent production increase over the last four years. We continue increase to production rates, improve efficiencies, reduce costs and meet our delivery targets. At peak production, we will have the capability to deliver one F-35 every working day.

F-35 production across all three variants takes place on a common production line. The strength of the F-35 program stems from our partners. We source from nearly 1,400 suppliers, across 45 states and Puerto Rico.

Today, we use new manufacturing technologies to more efficiently produce the F-35. These new technologies use robotic systems, automation and data integration to continuously develop our production system. 

Sustainment

With fleet expansion, F-35 sustainment continues to improve. We are delivering 5th Gen Sustainment, which includes high reliability, predictive health monitoring, a high velocity supply chain and condition-based maintenance. As the system matures and improvements are implemented – we expect to meet the DoD’s readiness goals and reduce Operations and Support (O&S) costs to be similar to less capable 4th Generation aircraft.

As the Original Equipment Manufacturer of the F-35 Lightning II, Lockheed Martin’s engineers and sustainment teams understand every aspect of the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter in the world. We engineer for sustainment, anticipating the needs of the flight line to support the warfighter.  

In partnership with our U.S. and International customers we aim to improve mission readiness and affordability. Lockheed Martin is taking key actions such as aggregating supply chain demand with production, development, and sustainment; executing performance-based contracts with key suppliers; advanced analytics and diagnostics to enable condition-based maintenance and reduce maintenance intervals in the field; and Reliability improvements on high-failure components to reduce part demands.

F-35 Sustainment remains a top priority and we continue to improve our aircraft readiness and develop new technologies and systems with the pilot and maintainer in mind.