Defence Notes

Lockheed Martin adjusts work schedules amid likely F-35 production shortfall

21st May 2020 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin on 20 May announced measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on production in the F-35 programme, after admitting that it will be unable to meet its planned 2020 production target of 141 aircraft.

Disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic means that supply chain partners are unable to provide parts on time, meaning that Lockheed Martin may fall 18-24 units short of its objective.

The company has now set out a plan to adjust work schedules while maintaining employee skillsets and accelerating payments to suppliers

From next week, F-35 production line workers at Fort Worth will be temporarily reassigned to other duties, under an agreement between Lockheed Martin and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

‘These are challenging times, but managing tough challenges is when the F-35 programme performs at its best,’ said Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice-president Michele Evans.

In its Q1 financial results and guidance issued during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lockheed Martin stated that its 2020 financial outlook assumes that production facilities will continue to operate without disruption and without ‘significant work stoppages or closures,’ while also assuming supply chain issues are not worsened.

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