An Atlanta-based spokesman told Global Atlanta on March 25 that the planes would be assembled at Lockheed Martin facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, but that parts would be sent from its global supply chain, including its operations in Marietta.
The spokesman said that the center wing assemblies, also known as the internal skeletal structure of the fuselage, are to be manufactured here.
The Marietta facility already is producing these parts at a rate of one a week and when full production begins, he expects the rate to pick up to one a day.
Three hundred people are currently involved in manufacturing the parts with an estimated total of 1,000 employees to be involved once the Korea program is fully in operation.
He added that a special stealth coating also is adhered to the jets’ tails at the Marietta facility.
“We look forward to supporting the discussions between the Republic of Korea and U.S.governments in support of a final agreement this year,” said Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice president, in a press release.
“This decision strengthens and extends our long-standing security partnership while enhancing regional stability across the greaterAsia Pacific theater.”
Mr. Carvalho was appointed last week to his current position. He joined Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics division in 2011, where has been responsible for the performance of all aspects of the F-35 Lighting II program.
The F-35 fighter jet is reportedly the Pentagon’s most expensive U.S weapons program valued at $396 billion.
The sale to Korea represents Lockheed Martin’s third under the Foreign Military Sales program that oversees government-to-government purchases of weapons and defense services and training.
Israel and Japan also have bought Lockheed Martin F-35 jets through the program whereby the Defense Department serves as an intermediary.
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