WASHINGTON — The US Air Force and Lockheed Martin have reached a verbal agreement on a five-year contract for the aerospace company's C-130J transport plane, according to the company.

Lockheed Martin is close to securing an official multiyear II contract for up to 83 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, company spokeswoman Stephanie Stinn told Defense News in a Wednesday email. Deliveries will continue through 2020.

Lockheed's goal is to complete the remaining contract actions and certifications, including the congressional notification process, by the end of the year, Stinn said.

The Pentagon aims to buy weapons systems in bulk in order to save money over the long term. But budget uncertainty can impede such contracts.

Air Force acquisition chief William LaPlante warned earlier this month that if the Pentagon is forced to operate under a long-term continuing resolution — a stopgap spending measure to fund the government if Congress can't reach a budget deal — the Air Force will break the multiyear contract for C-130s.

"One multiyear [deal] that has called my attention to finish on is the C-130 multiyear," LaPlante said during an event hosted by Defense One. "If we go to a yearlong CR without any ways to change it, we will break that multiyear." 

Email: lseligman@defensenews.com

Twitter: @laraseligman

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