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Lockheed Martin Plans New F-35 Fighter Plant In Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Lockheed Martin will expand production for components of the F-35 Lightning II with a new facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The company plans to create more than 40 new jobs by the end of 2018.

"The F-35 Lightning II is beginning the transition to full-rate production, and the manufacturing expertise we have here has a growing role in delivering this incredible aircraft to the men and women who defend our nation," said Gilda Jackson, General Manager of Lockheed Martin AeroParts.

According to company officials, Lockheed Martin is in the process of finalizing plans to lease and equip an additional facility to accommodate this new work, and begin producing a subset of parts for the program beginning in the fourth quarter this year. The new work will entail component painting and preparation for the final assembly at the production line in Fort Worth, Texas.

Marillyn A Hewson, Lockheed Chairwoman, President & CEO,  said  “As F-35 production continues to ramps up, we project that it will create 15,000 direct jobs and approximately 41,000 indirect jobs across America.”

“And this is just one example, as we transition to full-rate production.With a stronger aerospace and defense industry, we will strengthen both our national security and economic security,” she said.

“We have teamed with government and industry to launch the “Blueprint for Affordability” and the “Sustainment Cost Reduction Initiative.”Through these efforts, we’ve set a goal to save our F-35 customers more than $5 billion dollars,” she added.

“We have worked diligently to drive down the cost of the F-35A, the most popular model, domestically and internationally.We agreed to a target of $85 million dollars or less per plane by 2019, in then-year dollars.This would mean customers will be getting an unparalleled fifth-generation fighter for the price of a fourth-generation, legacy aircraft.

We are proving we can do it.The F-35A is currently at its lowest price in program history, having been reduced by 62 percent since the first lot,” she explained.

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