First F-35 With Marietta-Built Center Wing Flown
FORT WORTH, Texas, March 8, 2013 – The first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II with a Center Wing Assembly (CWA) built at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga., was flown for the first time this week. The aircraft, known as BF-25, is an F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant that will be delivered to the U. S. Marine Corps at Yuma, Arizona. The CWA is a major structural component and represents approximately one quarter of the aircraft’s fuselage. Approximately 350 people work on the F-35 program in Marietta. In addition to building the CWAs, technicians also apply specialized stealth coatings to F-35 horizontal and vertical tail control assemblies and also coat spare and repaired aircraft doors, panels and covers.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.