BETHESDA, Maryland: Due to delays with supplier L3Harris Technologies providing upgraded technologies, U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin said this week that it lowered its full-year delivery forecast for F-35 jets.
In a filing, Lockheed said it expects to deliver 97 aircraft that run on existing technology in 2023, between 100 and 120 jets lower than the previous forecast.
"We have updated our F-35 TR-3 schedule projections with a first TR-3 aircraft delivery between April and June 2024," Lockheed said, contrasting with its earlier expectations of delivering the first jet by the end of 2023.
"The development of the Integrated Core Processor (ICP) by L3 Harris has driven delays due to unexpected challenges associated with hardware and software development, component and system integration testing, and system qualification testing," the weapons maker added.
Lockheed has sent employees to assist L3Harris to help expedite hardware delivery and is also working with RTX on their delivery of the Next Gen Electro-Optical Digital Aperture System.
L3Harris said, "We continue to work closely with Lockheed to support them in integrating their software into the TR3 hardware. L3Harris remains fully committed to the F-35 program."
Due to strong demand from countries increasing their defense spending, Lockheed's state-of-the-art F-35 jets accounted for 27 percent of its total consolidated net sales and 66 percent of aeronautics' net sales in 2022.
Under the TR-3 (Technology Refresh 3) program, which aims to improve displays and processing power, the company has been upgrading its F-35 jets.
In July, it said that completing software integration testing would likely cause delays to its TR-3 upgrade.