The U.S. Department of Defense says it reached a “handshake deal” with Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) to buy a batch of 141 F-35 combat jets likely to be worth more than $12B after months of wrangling over price and other terms.
Top Pentagon weapons buyer Ellen Lord announced the preliminary deal in a statement on the eve of the Farnborough Air Show.
A contract value is not disclosed, but Reuters reports the deal lowers the price of the F-35A, the most common version of the jet, to ~$89M each from $94.3M in the last deal struck in February 2017.
The agreement removes a major roadblock from the ongoing negotiations for a multi-year deal for the F-35s that is expected to consist of three tranches over fiscal years 2018-20.
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