Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corp.
An F-35B aircraft seen on the flight deck of the USS America. The Pentagon has placed orders for long lead materials, parts and components for 105 more aircraft, bringing approximately $17 million worth of work to San Diego subcontractors. Prime contractor Lockheed Martin could end up building more than 3,000 F-35s.

Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corp. An F-35B aircraft seen on the flight deck of the USS America. The Pentagon has placed orders for long lead materials, parts and components for 105 more aircraft, bringing approximately $17 million worth of work to San Diego subcontractors. Prime contractor Lockheed Martin could end up building more than 3,000 F-35s.

The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. an $847 million modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract for F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.

The deal increases the scope to procure long lead materials, parts, components and efforts associated with the production of 105 Lot 17 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, also known as the F-35. Customers include the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, non-U.S. Department of Defense participants and foreign military customers.


Some 2% of the work, worth an estimated $17 million, will go to San Diego businesses. Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) and Cubic Corp. are among companies supplying electronics for the F-35.


Work on the contract is expected to be completed by May 2026. The Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, Maryland awarded the deal, announced on Dec. 29.


Ultimately, the Pentagon plans to buy 2,456 F-35 aircraft. In addition, U.S. allies are expected to purchase more than 800 aircraft. According to a Congressional Research Service report from mid-January, Finland plans to buy 64 F-35 aircraft, Switzerland plans to buy 36 and Thailand is considering the acquisition of eight aircraft.


Transatlantic Deals for GA-ASI


The U.S. Air Force, acting on behalf of the government of France, awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. a $14.6 million task order for the France Block 30 Mobile Ground Control Station procurement. The ground control station serves as the cockpit for pilots who fly France’s MQ-9 military aircraft, an unmanned plane capable of surveillance and delivering air-to-ground missiles. Work under the deal will be performed in Poway and is expected to be completed by Nov. 3, 2023. The order is part of a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.


Separately, the Air Force awarded a $22.6 million contract modification for MQ-9 contractor logistics support for France. Work will be performed in Poway and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2022.


GA-ASI also received work from the Netherlands, specifically a $10.4 million modification to a previously awarded delivery order for the Netherlands MQ-9 update. Work was performed in Poway and was expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021.


The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio awarded the contracts, announced on Jan. 7, Dec. 22 and Nov. 29.


Viasat Has Work in Guam and Poland


Carlsbad-based Viasat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) announced on Dec. 20 that it received a pair of contracts with the Navy Exchange Service Command to deliver managed Wi-Fi in Poland and triple-play services (that is, Wi-Fi, voice and TV) in Guam. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.


These contracts expand Viasat’s work with the command, also known as NEXCOM, in providing high-quality personal-use telecommunications to sailors at bases around the world. Viasat is providing the services in Unaccompanied Housing (UH) facilities; Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities; and Navy lodging facilities.


Under the first agreement, Viasat will deploy a new fiber network backbone to support Naval Station Guam and Andersen Air Force Base, as well as upgrade the buildings at these facilities with new Wi-Fi and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment. This work will also require replacing the legacy copper-based networks connecting to all the buildings.


In a separate contract, Viasat will support the Navy at its new Naval Support Facility (NSF) Redzikowo in Poland by providing reliable, resilient connectivity. Specifically, the facility received a new Wi-Fi network and management support system, which are similar to the Wi-Fi services that Viasat already provides to more than 100 Navy installations around the world.


Craig Miller, president of Viasat Government Systems, said the contracts are an example of the business supporting the military off the battlefield. Viasat also provides tactical satellite hardware and services.


Earlier in 2021, Viasat and NEXCOM’s telecom program office announced a five-year contract extension, under which Viasat will provide managed internet, Wi-Fi, voice and other services to support personal use networks at Navy facilities around the world. As part of this ongoing work, Viasat will make TV services available to Navy Gateway Inns & Suites facilities in the U.S. by upgrading to satellite-based high-definition TV, providing interactive menus and streaming capabilities to improve the experience for sailors and their families.

 
Viasat deployed similar TV service upgrades at Navy Lodge locations earlier in 2021.