F-35 delivers better-than-expected profits
The F-35 has made many headline over the last few years. Standing as the most expensive military project in history (upwards of $1.45 trillion by the time it's over), it seems hard to fathom it ever turning a profit.
The aircrafts release has been hampered by program's delays, with its badly planned development coming under fire from the U.S. Congress and some U.S. Department of Defence officials. Since 2006, the program has undergone several reassessments due to the complexity of the aircraft.
Carrying three main model variants, overlapping development was intended to improve the economic viability of the aircraft, but in actual fact seems to have hampered it. The F-35A conventional take-off and landing variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing variant and the F-35C carrier-based catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery variant have all hit their own issues.
Yet despite major setbacks, increased sales of the F-35 fighter have helped Lockheed Martin report better-than-expected profits. Lockheed Martin saw a 5% rise in second-quarter profits to $942m. Much of this rise (over 20%) was accredited to the aeronautics business, its most important division.
As a result of this success, Lockheed Martin have raised its sales and profit forecasts for the rest of 2017. With pressure mounting from the projects many backers, it will be interesting to see if Lockheed Martin can deliver all 2,400+ orders.