Lockheed nears F-35 block buy deal worth more than US$37 billion: Sources

Lockheed nears F-35 block buy deal worth more than US$37 billion: Sources

U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than US$37 billion to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States, two people familiar with the talks said.

U.S. soldiers walk next to a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft, as it is moved, on the eve of the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

REUTERS: U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than US$37 billion to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States, two people familiar with the talks said.

This would be the biggest deal yet for the stealthy F-35 jet as it is set to make its Paris Airshow debut this week. The sale represents a major shift in sales practices from annual purchases to more economic multi-year deals that lower the cost of each jet.

The pricing of the jets was still not final, though the average price of the 440 jets was expected to be US$85 million, the people said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly. The multi-year deal for the fighters will consist of three tranches over fiscal years 2018-2020.

A Lockheed representative said the company does not discuss negotiations on contracts and any deal involving a "block buy" would be announced by the U.S. government. A representative for the customers including the United States did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

(Reporting by Mike Stone; editing by Chris Sanders and Susan Fenton)

Source: Reuters

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