On December 15, 2017 Lockheed Martin delivered the 66th F-35 aircraft for the year, meeting the joint government and industry delivery target for 2017, a 40% increase in annual production from 2016.
The handover means more than 265 F-35 aircraft have been delivered to customers.
Lockheed Martin says its goal is to reduce the cost of an F-35A to $80 million by 2020 with process efficiencies, production automation, facility and tooling upgrades and supply chain initiatives.
The company says the price of an F-35A has come down more than 60% from the first contract, touch labour reduced by about 75% over five years and production time decreased by about 20% since 2015.
There are further increases planned in production volume year-on-year to hit an annual production rate of approximately 160 aircraft in 2023.