Lockheed Martin says F-35 plant strike 'allowing improvements to production line'
By Julian Kerr
A strike by Lockheed Martin machinists at the company's facility in Fort Worth, Texas, which is now into its ninth week, is allowing the company to map improvements to its F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter production line, Jonathan Rambeau, Lockheed Martin's vice-president of F-35 international programmes, said on 22 June.
Speaking in Sydney, Australia, at the opening of a Quickstep Technologies' plant that will supply composite skins and subassemblies for the F-35 centre fuselage, Rambeau described the strike as having a silver lining.
"A lot of the people who are responsible for the manufacturing processes and the production aspects of the aircraft are getting some hands-on experience building the airplane and they're able to identify things that perhaps could be done more efficiently and we're making a long list of opportunities," he told IHS Jane's .
"Some of these little things can become major cost drivers down the road; there will certainly be improvements but it's hard to quantify the significance at this point."
Rambeau acknowledged the impact on suppliers of order deferrals such as those recently announced by the United States and Australia.185 of 335 words
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