Despite F-35 Troubles Infrastructure Investments Continue

by: Matthew Potter
March 26, 2012

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Services, U.S. Marine Corps | RSS 2.0

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) headed up by Lockheed Martin (LMT) is the largest defense acquisition program in history. It is facing a series of schedule delays and cost growth which is causing the Pentagon to buy less aircraft then originally planned and stretch out the deliveries. Many of the current customers are making noises about second thoughts due to these delays. Even so the program continues with test flights, production, development and the carrying out of other preparations.

This includes the issuance of a contract to build two hangers for the aircraft located at Marine Corps Air Station located in Yuma, AZ. This $70 million or more contract to Harper Construction will be for special buildings that are compliant with the F-35’s requirements. This includes special facilities to operate the logistics system being developed for the aircraft.

The Marines are currently planning on putting 6 squadrons of the aircraft at Yuma when fielding is complete and a further 6 squadrons at Mirimar MCAS near San Diego.

The F-35 like the F-22 Raptor fighter and B-2 bomber most likely utilizes construction materials to improve its “stealthiness”. This may mean it needs hangers adapted to the requirements for the maintenance and protection of those materials. This is probably why new ones must be built and old ones refurbished.

When the F-35 program is complete the U.S. will possess over two thousand of the advanced aircraft and allies another several hundred. That date right now is looking to be sometime in the 2030’s.

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