16 July 2010, FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Government of Canada today announced plans to acquire the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II as the country’s next-generation fighter aircraft. The F-35 will replace Canada’s fleet of CF-18 Hornets that entered service in the early 1980s.
“We’re very pleased with the decision and are committed to supporting the Government of Canada in moving forward with the F-35,” said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration. “The Lightning II will help ensure Canada’s national security, and also positions Canadian industry to immediately capture long-term work that will endure for the next 30 years.”
The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter developed and funded by a consortium of nine countries, including Canada. It is designed to excel in both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations and features the most comprehensive and powerful avionics of any fighter ever produced. Canada plans to acquire 65 F-35s to replace the CF-18 fleet that is currently in service. Delivery of Canada’s F-35s will begin in 2016.
Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.
F-35 and Lightning II are trademarks of Lockheed Martin Corporation.