Lockheed Martin jobs in Marietta, Georgia, could be safe even if the Department of Defense closes the F-22 production line in early 2012.
A strong “uptick” in business for the C-130J and C-5M production lines in Marietta may offset any losses caused by the F-22′s loss, says Bruce Tanner, Lockheed’s chief financial officer, who briefed market analysts today about the company’s first quarter earnings.
C-130J output is expected to double by the end of the year, he says, with further increases expected in the future. Meanwhile, the C-5M production line is also transitioning to full-rate production.
Lockheed and its suppliers have made saving jobs a huge part of its strategy to push for extending F-22 production beyond the program of record of 187 fighters. But Lockheed executives have told market analysts a different story since November. Ralph Heath, chief of the aeronautics division, delivered a similar message to market analysts on 20 November.