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Jet Fighter Contract Worth $200 Billion - 2001-10-27

The Pentagon has decided on who will get the most lucrative military contract in U.S. history. The winner of competition gets to build the next generation of U.S. fighter jets.

In a eagerly awaited announcement by the sagging aerospace industry, Air Force Secretary James Roche said which firm will get the plum contract, worth some $200 billion.

"It is our conclusion, joined in by our colleagues from the United Kingdom, that the Lockheed Martin team is the winner of the Joint Strike Fighter program on a best value basis," declared Mr. Roche.

The announcement was greeted by cheers by Lockheed Martin employees at the company's aeronautics division in Fort Worth, Texas. Lockheed Martin will be the primary contractor for some 3,000 supersonic fighters to replace the aging air fleet of the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Britain's Royal Air Force and Navy will also purchase some of the planes.

The competition for the lucrative contract had been fierce between Lockheed Martin and the Chicago-based Boeing corporation.