LM exec: Few, if any, jobs lost if F-22 line closes

Question: How many jobs will Lockheed Martin cut if the F-22 production closes this year?

Answer: Probably none. Maybe a few.

That’s not my opinion. That’s what Ralph Heath, president of Lockheed’s aeronautics division, said as recently as November 20. Heath spoke to market analysts at the Credit Suisse Group Aerospace & Defense Conference in New York. Asked whether F-22 assets could be redeployed to support the F-35 ramp-up, here’s what Heath said:

It’s — the production folks that probably will becomedisplaced when we’re at the end of the production line in Marietta, because we’ve had the good fortuneor we were reaping the dividends of the hard work that we’ve put in place withthe C-130, we actually have a requirement for ramping up for C-130 production.So, those folks can be redeployed there.


In a similar vein for C-5, about a year from now we’ll bemarching in the ramp-up for full production on the re-engining program andwe’ll have a need for employees there as well.


A third of the F-22 is built in Fort Worth. And again, as we ramp up forF-35, we have the need already for deploying the manufacturing people there aswell.


So, if you go back to the portfolio balance, it’s notexactly perfect but we’re probably as good as we’ve ever been and where you’dwant to be in terms of the balance and different points with the lifecycle ofthe portfolio of programs that we have.

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9 Responses to LM exec: Few, if any, jobs lost if F-22 line closes

  1. eg 29 January, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    Heath spoke to market analysts at the Credit Suisse Group.

    Of course he’s going to be upbeat. You expect him to tell an investment analyst “the bottom is about to fall out”?

    That’s like asking the CEO of GM to provide a statement about the health of GM. Of course it going to be “forward thinking”.

  2. Stephen Trimble 29 January, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    Lockheed Martin and its supporters have been making the claim that anywhere between 12,000 and 95,000 jobs could be lost if F-22 production is shut down. I posted Heath’s quote to show that Lockheed actually doesn’t believe that, as production ramp-up’s on other programs will more than offset the F-22 drop-off.

  3. EG 29 January, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Well Stephen,
    I guess if you start looking at the vendors and subcontractors you could conjure up some numbers. And that would make both F-22 statements correct if not a little disingenuous.

  4. ELP 29 January, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    That may cover LM. However here is a list of makers of various components of the F-22 and their locations.


  5. sferrin 30 January, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    Anybody who’s ever been laid off knows the suits will blow sunshine up your skirt- right until the day they lay you off. So why would anybody be surprised at more of the same?

  6. John S 30 January, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Alright, let’s turn the question around a bit. How many jobs at Lockheed won’t be created by terminating the F-22 program?

  7. Stephen Trimble 30 January, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    I imagine that business development staff will take a good whacking!

    Of course, Lockheed’s got $8 billion in the budget already for F-22 upgrades.

  8. EG 30 January, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    Sorry Stephen,
    I have to agree with Sferrin on this one.
    The suits will stay and the folks out on the floor will get canned.

    I wonder if part of the Bell ARH fiasco was because the suits laid off too many engineers and not enough in business development

  9. BDF 31 January, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    Well they have changed their tune since then:


    I have to agree though that at best case the jobs losses would only be minimal in LM itself.

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