Lockheed Martin, manufacturer of the F-35 Lightning II, delayed the delivery date for the newest version of the fighter jet, according to a filing released Sept. 6. 

The upgrade, known as TR-3, updates the jet’s core processing power and memory capacity according to a release in January, when the upgraded F-35 took its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The Pentagon halted delivery of F-35s in July due to the software challenges.

Now, Lockheed estimates it will deliver 97 jets this year with a TR-2 configuration, according to the filing. That’s down from its reduced delivery estimate of 100-120 in the company’s second quarterly earning report in July. Lockheed doesn’t expect the decrease in deliveries to impact the company’s financial outlook this year, according to the filing. 

The company anticipates delivering the first TR-3 jet between April and June 2024.

F-35s are assembled in Fort Worth. In an emailed statement to the Fort Worth Report, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson said the company continues to produce 156 F-35s per year and expects to continue at that pace while working to finalize the Tech Refresh-3 software and hardware integration, testing and delivery. The company declined questions about where the jets will be stored once they are assembled in the Fort Worth plant, citing security concerns. 

Rising costs to modernize the jets and procurement costs driven by delaying aircraft deliveries have driven the F-35 program’s cost by about $38.6 billion, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. 

The outlook for how many F-35s will be delivered in 2024 remains unclear. 

“The number of 2024 F-35 deliveries will depend on when the first TR-3 aircraft is delivered and the time needed to complete the customer’s acceptance process,” the filing said. “We continue to assess impacts to 2024 and will have updates as the test plan continues.” 

Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at seth.bodine@fortworthreport.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.

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Seth Bodine is the business reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He previously covered agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report for America corps member....