Lockheed Martin is set on slashing the personnel deployed on the development phase of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter by around 300 as the programme reaches design maturity.

The engineers will be redeployed onto the production phase, Lockheed Martin says. Around 300 employees affected will be notified this week and over the next few months, the company says. Not all of the affected workers will necessarily be made redundant, Lockheed Martin stresses.

Local daily newspaper the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram reportedly received a copy of an internal memo detailing the shift sent to staff yesterday.

“With the majority of F-35 engineering design elements complete, the programme has begun to shift from development to production, with some employees and contractors who supported the F-35’s peak design period now transitioning off the program,” the company says.

“This type of transition is characteristic of any major development program and is to be expected as aircraft designs mature.” Around 8,500 employees and contractors are working on the programme with Lockheed and its partners in the Texan city.

Source: FlightGlobal.com