Friday, July 26, 2013

F-35 courts foreign customers

Lockheed Martin is looking toward international sales to keep the F-35 program aloft in an age of sequestration. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed President and CEO, said that over the next five years "close to 50 percent of our orders will come from international customers." In the pre-sequestration fiscal 2014 budget, the Pentagon plans to order just more than 300 F-35s in all three variants in the next five years. International customers are expected to place multiyear orders for most or all of their planned fleets, so Hewson's prediction is likely to be accurate if Australia, Britain, Japan and other customers maintain their current plans and the campaign to sell the F-35 to South Korea is successful. (Source: Aviation Week, 07/25/13)