Lockheed Martin expands F-35 component manufacturing facility

  • 14-Mar-2012 04:00 EDT
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Aircraft canopy components of the F-35 Lightning II fighter include the "windshield" of the aircraft— a clear plastic bubble—and the frame, ejection pyrotechnics, and other structures that support it.

Lockheed Martin's operation in Pinellas Park, FL, officially opened a new 57,000-ft² manufacturing facility to produce aircraft canopy components for the F-35 Lightning II fighter. The new facility is an annex to the company's existing 197,000-ft² building that has been producing structural components for more than 10 different types of aircraft since 1997. The operation began with 80 employees and has since grown to its current workforce of 250, with additional jobs expected as the F-35 program moves toward peak production. The expanded facility can support production of up to 20 F-35 canopy units a month. Core competencies at the Pinellas facility include sheet metal and extrusion fabrication and structural subassembly. To date the facility has produced components for the C-130J, F-22, F-16, C-5 and P-3, in addition to the F-35.

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