UPDATE 1-Lockheed Martin revenue beats, expects higher profit in 2018

(Adds details on the quarter, background)

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue on Monday, helped by higher sales from the F-35 fighter jet program, while also forecasting a rise in earnings in 2018.

The U.S. defense contractor took a $1.9 billion charge in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, mainly due to the change in U.S. tax law.

On an adjusted basis, however, Lockheed earned $4.30 per share in the quarter.

Net sales rose to $15.14 billion from $13.75 billion a year earlier compared with $14.72 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Adjusted for new accounting standards from Jan. 1, Lockheed said it expects 2018 net sales in the range of $50.00 billion-$51.50 billion and earnings per share of $15.20-$15.50.

Lockheed, like its peers in the United States, is expected to gain from an increase in defense spending under President Donald Trump's administration.

The U.S. Defense Department expects to spend some $391 billion over 15 years to develop and buy 2,456 of the supersonic warplanes.

Lockheed said sales in its aeronautics business, its biggest, grew 11.8 percent to $6.05 billion. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)