July 7, 2017 / 9:16 PM / 13 days ago

CORRECTED-Lockheed awarded $5.6 billion interim payment for F-35 jets -Pentagon

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(Corrects number of jets to 141 from 148 in first paragraph)

WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp was awarded an interim payment of $5.6 billion to help finance the construction of the 11th batch of 141 F-35 jets for the U.S. military and its allies, the U.S. Defense Department said on Friday.

The Pentagon expects to spend $391 billion to develop the plane and buy 2,457 jets, making the F-35 its single most expensive weapons program.

The agreement announced on Friday allows Lockheed to continue production of the F-35 jets while it finalizes the terms of the 11th contract with the Pentagon. (Reporting by Eric Beech and Mike Stone; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

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