F-35 fleet halt won’t affect Marietta manufacturer
by Jon Gillooly
February 23, 2013 12:00 AM | 3975 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Pentagon’s grounding of its fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade in one plane has no impact on the more than 300 employees who work on the plane at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta plant, a spokeswoman said.

“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.
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