Lockheed opens F-35 components plant

Feb. 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM
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PINELLAS PARK, Fla., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A new facility involved in the production of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft has been opened in Florida by Lockheed Martin.

The plant in Pinellas Park, Fla., will manufacture the aircraft canopy components, including the clear plastic bubble, the frame, ejection pyrotechnics and other structures that support it.

It is 57,000 square feet in size and is an annex to an existing facility where structural components for more than 10 different types of aircraft -- including the C-130J, F-22, F-16, C-5 and P-3 -- for more than a decade.

Lockheed said the annex and main facility, which is 197,000 square feet in size, can produce as many as 20 F-35 canopies a month.

The main facility in Pinellas Park is mainly involved in sheet metal and extrusion fabrication and structural sub-assemblies in support of Lockheed aircraft programs and other companies.

The F-35 is being developed by Lockheed Martin with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

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