“There are about 300 employees that work in Marietta that support the F-35, and we are still manufacturing the plane,” said Lockheed spokeswoman Laura Siebert.
Of note, the F-35 engine is made by Pratt & Whitney, not Lockheed.
“It’s just a cautionary measure that the Joint Program Office is taking to figure out what the root cause is of this crack in the fan blade. We fully expect us to be back flying shortly. We don’t have a timeline, but you know this is a normal precaution that the Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin takes when they find a problem with a part on the airplane.”
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Joint Program Office is a government office that leads the F-35 program, as Lockheed not only supplies the aircraft to the U.S. Armed Forces, but also to eight partner countries.
Siebert said there are 88 F-35 fighter jets under contract with a projected 3,000-plus that are expected to be built.
Lockheed’s Marietta plant builds the wings for the aircraft, she said.