The Finnish Government has selected global security and aerospace company, Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) to deliver 64 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets for its HX Fighter Program. Following the news, shares spiked 1% momentarily before closing the day flat at $344.88 on December 10.
F-35 Lightning II Fighter Jets
LMT’s fifth-generation F-35 jets come with advanced interoperability capabilities enabling easy information exchanges with surface and air platforms, and strengthens interoperability between different branches of the Finnish Defence Forces.
These fighter jets are economical and come loaded with state-of-the-art technology ensuring the best survival mechanisms for the pilots to fight air battles and return home safely.
As per the deal, LMT will deliver 64 F-35A multirole stealth fighters, along with a weapons package, a sustainment solution to suit Finland’s unique security of supply requirements, and a training program.
According to LMT, the deal will provide Finland with several industry-leading opportunities for F-35 production and sustainment. LMT will also get the chance to build partnerships with Finnish companies, and academic institutions to develop and build long-standing security partnerships.
Currently, F-35 jets operate across 21 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. Overall, there are about 730 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,535 pilots and 11,500 maintainers trained on the aircraft.
Lockheed Martin’s VP and GM of the F-35 Program, Bridget Lauderdale, said, “We are honored the Government of Finland through its thorough, open competition has selected the F-35, and we look forward to partnering with the Finnish Defence Forces and Finnish defence industry to deliver and sustain the F-35 aircraft.”
Lauderdale added, “The F-35 will provide Finnish industries unique digital capabilities that leverage 5th Generation engineering and manufacturing. The production work will continue for more than 20 years, and the F-35 sustainment work will continue into the 2070s.”
Wall Street View
The Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 3 Buys and 7 Holds. The average Lockheed Martin price target of $382.80 implies 11% upside potential to current levels. Shares have lost 3.6% over the past year.