Lockheed Martin Wins $831 million Contract for 14 Australian F-35A Fighters

  • Date
  • Nov. 30, 2019
  • Author
  • Zacks Equity Research

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s LMT business division, Aeronautics, recently clinched a modification contract for production and delivery of 14 F-35A aircraft from the 15th lot. The deal has been awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland.

Valued at $831 million, the contract is expected to be completed by March 2023. Per the terms of the deal, the company will also offer associated red gear to support the Government of Australia. Majority of the task will be carried out in Fort Worth, TX.

With increased cross-border tensions gripping varied nations across the globe, both developed and developing nations have been ramping up their defense arsenal over the past decade. Notably, military jets comprise major part of the weapon portfolio. Currently, Lockheed Martin’s supersonic, multi-role fighter jet, F-35, is being used by the defense forces of the United States and 11 other nations.

According to Forecast International, a total of 3,401 fighter aircraft are expected to be produced from 2019 through 2028. Notably, the total number of fighters to be produced over the next decade is 17.2% higher than the number of aircraft produced during the previous 10 years. F-35 is anticipated to be the largest fighter program over the next decade.

Of the nearly 3,400 fighters expected to enter the production lines during the next 10 years, 1,548 jets are projected to be F-35s, representing 45.5% of the market. This clearly highlights the importance of the F-35 program in the global fighter jet market.

The F-35 is Lockheed Martin’s largest program that generates more than 25% of its total sales. Last year, the program fueled annual revenue growth by 19.6% at the company’s Aeronautics division. Keeping up with this trend, we may expect the latest contract win to help the Aeronautics unit deliver similar or even better performance in the upcoming quarters.

Taking into account the F-35 program’s solid estimated production rate, as mentioned above, the latest contract win should further provide a boost to this program in the coming days.

Such developments reflect solid prospects for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, which are likely to boost the company’s profit margin.

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