US gives Lockheed Martin contract for F-35 fighters

Washington, Dec 30 (IANS) The US Department of Defense has awarded Lockheed Martin with a $450 million contract to develop F-35 fighter jets for South Korea.

The contract is a modification of a previous $920 million deal for Lockheed Martin to manufacture 94 various models of F-35s for the US and its allies, Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday.

“This modification continues the integration work to implement the development and delivery of the F-35A Air System to South Korea under the Foreign Military Sales programme,” it said.

The work will be carried out in Texas and is expected to complete by August 2019.

The Foreign Military Sales programme allows the Pentagon to facilitate contracts between foreign governments and US arms manufacturers.

President-elect Donald Trump has recently blasted Lockheed Martin for the “out of control costs” of its F-35s. He has also complained that the new Air Force Ones, built by Boeing at $4 billion each, are too expensive.