Lockheed Martin Reduces 2023 F-35 Delivery Plan, But Maintains Build Rate

F-35A Lighting II. Image – – DVIDS/ Capt. Daniel Rubio

Lockheed Martin recently indicated that it will deliver only 97 F-35s in 2023.  The company had originally planned to deliver 147-153 F-35s during the year, but subsequently reduced this target in July 2023 to 100-120 aircraft.  Lockheed Martin delivered 141 F-35s in 2022.

The revised delivery plan is a result of a delay in certification of the Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) upgrades that are needed to power capabilities of the F-35’s new Block 4 configuration.  TR-3 upgrades include a new integrated core processor with greater computing power, a panoramic cockpit display, and an enhanced memory unit.

The initial delivery of a TR-3 equipped F-35 is now planned to occur in the April-June 2024 timeframe, postponed from the previously planned target date in 2023.  The 97 aircraft still slated for delivery in 2023 are being built in the older TR-2 configuration.

Lockheed Martin has a longer-term plan to deliver 156 F-35s annually, starting in 2025.

Despite the cutback in planned deliveries for 2023, Lockheed Martin is continuing to build the F-35 at a rate of 156 aircraft per year, and placing undelivered aircraft into storage pending availability of the TR-3 updates.

About Raymond Jaworowski

Raymond Jaworowski currently co-authors three of Forecast International's best-selling products: Civil Aircraft Forecast, Military Aircraft Forecast, and Rotorcraft Forecast. As a contributor to Aviation Week & Space Technology's Aerospace Source Book, he has authored Aircraft Outlooks, and provided input for the publication's Aircraft Specifications tables. Raymond has represented Forecast International at numerous conferences and trade shows, often as a featured speaker. He is a member of the American Helicopter Society. Prior to joining Forecast International, he worked at Industry News Service and, earlier, interned at the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

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