Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) confirmed Monday that it has won a $253 million contract to train Royal Saudi Air Force pilots and mechanics to -- respectively -- fly and maintain the new F-15SA fighter jets in their air force. This contract was originally announced on the Department of Defense's website on Jan. 1, at which time it was characterized as being a "modernization" contract.
In Monday's announcement, Lockheed clarified that what it will really be doing is building a "comprehensive ground-based training environment for Saudi Arabia's F-15SA modernization program." In today's announcement, Lockheed described the training program thusly:
Pilots will complete air-to-air combat, air-to-surface missions, air combat maneuvers and tactical intercepts with 360-degree full mission trainers. As a first for F-15 training, the systems will feature a single dome over the dual-seat cockpit to enable crew coordination training. Lockheed Martin will also deliver egress, avionics, and desktop trainers for procedure training by pilots.
Lockheed aims to have the trainers in place by 2020. Notably, the terms of the contract whereby Boeing (NYSE:BA) agreed to sell Saudi Arabia 84 new F-15SA fighters, and upgrade a further 70 existing F-15Ss to the F-15SA configuration, call for Boeing to deliver the final batch of planes no later than the end of 2019.