Following an intense four-year competition, the U.S. Department of Defense on 26 October 2001, named the Lockheed Martin lead Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) team as the winner of the contract to develop the F-35 JSF.

Lockheed Martin is the F-35 prime contractor, while Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems are principal partners in the project.

Final assembly of the F-35 will take place at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas. Northrop Grumman Corporation in Palmdale and El Segundo, California will manufacture the center-fuselage, and the aft fuselage and tails will be manufactured by BAE Systems in Samlesbury, England. Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth will manufacture the forward fuselage and wings.

Flight-testing will be conducted at Fort Worth, Edwards Air Force Base, and Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Additionally, the STOVL and CV variants will undergo sea trials aboard American, British and Italian aircraft carriers.

The JSF Web site: